Italy’s export credit agency Sace is prepared to cover Tehran-Rome deals up to an “unlimited ceiling”, news agency Irna reported following the visit of an Italian delegation to the Islamic Republic in mid-April.

Some of the key areas of future cooperation are in airports and rail, in addition to oil.

It is understood that the Milan Airports Company has signed an agreement to renovate a domestic airport in Iran. Iran has earlier announced plans renovate five airports and build two greenfield airports.

Italy is also joining two railway construction projects in Iran. These projects are understood to include the planned high-speed rail that will run between Qom and Arak, and between Tehran and Hamedan.

Both countries are cooperating in building an engine test centre, presumably catering to trains, according to Irna.

Iranian officials had said these projects are to receive insurance coverage from Italy’s Sace.

In addition to developing its airports infrastructure to address overcapacity and rising demand, Iran has openly asserted its urgent need to revamp its ageing air fleet. It is understood the country needs between 400 and 500 aircraft units over the next five to 10 years to compensate for decades-long sanctions that severely limited access to new aircraft, parts, technologies and services.

Overall passenger movement growth in Iranian airports have been growing at a compounded average rate of 6 per cent annually since 2008.

Italy’s Sace is understood to have provided funding for part of the $27bn deal to acquire 118 aircraft from Airbus.

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