Tehran is close to an agreement with Tupolev and the aircraft leasing group Ilyushin Finance, to build 100 Tu-204 airliners over the next 10 years.

The talks have been taking place at the Fourth Persian Gulf Air Show on the Iranian island of Kish.

Earlier in 2008, Ilyushin Finance signed a contract with the Iran Airtours airline for delivery of five Tu-204-100 aircraft, although Iran Air has dropped plans to buy 35 Russian-built planes over concerns the move would not be cost-effective (MEED 6:6:08).

Iran has been searching for ways to avoid US sanctions and replenish the ageing fleets of its various airlines.