US aircraft manufacturer Boeing has started preliminary talks with Iranian airlines for the potential sale of planes and aircraft services.

A Boeing spokesman told the Wall Street Journal that it had “discussed the capabilities of its commercial passenger airplanes and aftermarket services with Iranian airlines approved by the US government”.

The meeting, so far the most high-profile held between a US company and Iranian firms since the lifting of most international sanctions on the Islamic Republic, also tackled the provision of logistical support for Iran’s active fleet, parts and flight safety issues.

Iranian Aviation and Space Industries Association (IASIA) Secretary Maqsood Asadi said Boeing proposes to sell the latest models of its 737, 787 and 777 series to Iran, according to the Islamic Republic’s state news agency Irna.

No formal deals on aircraft or services, however, were made during the meetings.

Boeing has only been authorised by the US government to discuss the aircraft requirements of approved Iranian airlines. It needs further government authorisation to begin any aircraft or services sale to the country.

Iran placed an order for 118 jets, valued at an estimated $27bn, with France’s Airbus as soon as the sanctions were lifted in January. Sources in the country have said nine of the Airbus planes will be delivered in 2016.

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