Iran to sue ATR over breaking deal under US sanctions

TEHRAN, Sep. 12 (MNA) – Iran will file a lawsuit against the Franco-Italian turboprop planemaker ATR over breaking its contract with Tehran under US sanctions, head of the Iranian parliament's Civil Commission said Wednesday.

IranAir signed a contract worth over $400 million with the Franco-Italian aircraft manufacturer in 2017 for the delivery of 20 ATR 72-600s. The country received the first four ATR aircraft last May, two more in September, and another two in December 2017. Five more planes were delivered in August this year, before Washington imposed new sanctions on Iran, which brought the number of delivery to 13 out of the 20 planes under the contract.

Following the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and reinstatement of sanctions, ATR announced that it is giving up on the delivery of the seven remaining of the planes to Iran.

Speaking to ICANA on Wednesday, Mohammadreza Rezaei-Kouchi, head of the Iranian parliament's Civil Commission, criticized ATR’s decision to break its contract with Iran, adding “any company under any circumstance is obliged to implement its agreement and cannot dodge its commitments over some issues.”

“ATR should have predicted this situation given the US measures,” he added.

He went on to say that ATR should not yield to US’ political pressure, adding that the company’s current approach shows they have no freedom of choice to fulfill their own commitments.

Back in July, ATR Chief Executive Christian Scherer had said the Franco-Italian company would sustain “serious damage” to its finances if its contract with Iran broke under US pressure.

Rezaei-Kouchi further stressed that Iran would file a lawsuit against ATR at international communities; “this company is obliged to either comply with its remaining commitments, or pay compensations to Iran,” he added.

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