Russia’s Transneft has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop an international airport and free zone in Qom, located southwest of Iran’s capital Tehran.

The Russian firm is understood to be looking at investing up to €2.8bn ($3.19bn) in the project, a local media report said.

The scope of the development includes the construction of a runway and taxiways for the airport, in addition to a free zone around the airport.

Trasneft is not immediately available to comment on the deal.

A source familiar with Iran’s aviation sector said the land for the project was initially allocated to Eram Kish Company, in partnership with a Chinese contractor, during the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

However, the project never took off due to subsequent policy changes, the source tells MEED.