MIAMI — Iran is negotiating with Japan the purchase of 20 Mitsubishi Regional Jets (MRJ), the Iranian Ministry of Transportation and Housing said in a statement.

Asghar Fakhrieh-Kashan, Iran’s Deputy Minister of Transportation and Housing in Financing and International Affairs, said that the country is in “need to renovate other airlines with narrow-body aircraft to respond the needs of short, domestic flights.”

Last February, Iran Air and ATR signed an order for up to 40 ATR 72-600s (20 firm plus 20 options) valued at €1 billion ($1.1 billion) at list prices.

Prior to this deal, the flag carrier of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Airbus inked a purchasing agreement for 118 aircraft. The deal includes 45 narrowbodies (21 A320ceo, 24 A320neo) and 73 widebodies (27 A330ceo, 18 A330-900, 16 A350-1000 and 12 A380-800).

Besides this major Airbus order,  Iran Air has reportedly close to place a massive order for Boeing jets. While a formal announcement has not occurred yet, the order would include 40 737 MAXs, 6 737 NGs, 15 777-300ERs, 15 777-9Xs, and four 747-8s.

Since 1995, Iran’s aviation industry has been subject to an embargo that prevented Western manufacturers from selling equipment and providing maintenance logistics to the aging country’s air transport fleet, which is nearing three decades of service.

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