France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire voiced hope that the United States would ‘allow’ the Franco-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR to deliver its regional planes to Iran before the August 6 deadline, when the first batch of sanctions will be introduced.
“I am hopeful that the United States will give us permission to deliver these ATRs. There were eight to be delivered before August 6,” he told the French broadcaster BFMTV.
Le Maire further explained that he has been involved in talks with his American counterpart and was willing to discuss the future of other sectors.
“I’ve been negotiating for weeks with my counterpart, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and I’m hopeful we’ll get on a number of topics that directly affect our SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and our jobs in US-owned territories. I’m also fighting so that in the health sector, in the agri-food sector, which are now beyond the sanctions, there may be funding channels that remain open,” the minister said.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire’s interview to a local broadcaster comes as France, along with other European nations, continues to seek exemptions from US secondary sanctions on its firms doing business with Iran.
In April 2017, IranAir signed a deal to purchase 20 planes from turboprop maker ATR, having already inked contracts with Europe’s Airbus and US’ Boeing to acquire some 180 jets.
Deliveries of ATRs were suspended in May after the United States withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly referred to as the Iran nuclear deal, and announced its decision to reinstate sanctions against Tehran.
Even though ATR is a European-based company, it contains more than 10 percent of US-made parts, which means the firm must approve any export with the United States.