Iran gets first new plane after 38 years

New  Delhi: The first of 100 Airbus planes that Iran purchased following its nuclear deal with world powers reached  Tehran onThursday. This is a major boost for  the country's aging and accident-prone fleet after years of sanctions. 

The Iran Air A321 jet touched down after a flight from Toulouse, France, where the headquarters of the European consortium are located. The 189-seat plane is the first of 100 purchased under a December deal worth USD 18 billion. 

Iran is hoping to rapidly upgrade its fleet now that sanctions have been lifted under the 2015 nuclear accord, in which Tehran pledged to curb its uranium enrichment. 

Most of Iran's aging fleet of 250 commercial planes was purchased before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and as of June, only 162 were operational, with the rest grounded because of a lack of spare parts. 

Iran Air, whose website lists a fleet of 43 planes, offers direct flights to over 30 international destinations, including London. 

The company recently sealed a separate agreement to buy 80 planes from Boeing, beginning next year. 

The election of Donald Trump, however, has cast doubt over the future of the deal. He repeatedly criticized the nuclear agreement on the campaign trail but has not said what he plans to do about it once in office. 

Iran hopes the US "continues to remain true to its commitments" under the new administration. (Agencies)