LONDON – Local Iranian news agency Mehr News has announced Iran Air has received three Airbus A319 aircraft, irrespective of U.S sanctions imposed on the country and carrier.

The aircraft are secondhand and were manufactured in 2002. It was purchased from Hungary a year ago and landed in Mashhad in North West Iran.

The aircraft are to join the airline’s fleet in the next few days.

At the moment, Iran Air operates 29 flights in the country, which will rise to 32 after the aircraft have been added.

The Civil Aviation Organisation (CAO) for Iran gave the approval to the carrier to purchase and import the planes last week.

The permits are independent of the government, offering a more private way forward for aviation operations in Iran.

According to Ali Abedzadeh, who works in the Tourism ministry believes that up to 500 civil aircraft are needed in Iran, with the CAO trying to facilitate this as much as possible.

The U.S sanctions has forced Iran to go into the second-hand market as it had ordered Airbus and ATR aircraft brand new.

The airline had ordered 100 Airbus aircraft, 80 from Boeing and 20 from ATR originally but the licenses on these aircraft were withdrawn after U.S President Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran Deal and reimposed sanctions in May last year.

ATR have however managed to deliver 13 of the 20 aircraft before the sanctions were imposed but the rest are yet to be delivered.

Airbus has also shown the orders as still active, with Boeing the only manufacturer showing as inactive.

It remains clear that Iran is still committed to growth and will do everything it can to grow, whether that is go through the second-hand market.

If the struggle to find the 500 additional aircraft continues, then we could see political elements change in the landscape, and may encourage a new deal to be made with the U.S as a result.