Iran has signed a memorandum of understanding with Portugal, which is the first of its kind with a European Union country since the victory of Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979.
Iran Civil Aviation Organization Director Alireza Jahangirian signed the MOU with his Portuguese counterpart in Lisbon on November 6, the IRNA news agency reported.
According to the agreement, the Iranian flag carrier Iran Air and Portugal’s Euro Atlantic Airways are authorized to operate seven direct flights per week between the two countries.
The United States and the EU have imposed sanctions on Iran’s aviation industry due to the dispute over the country’s nuclear program.
Currently, the U.S. sanctions include an embargo on selling aircraft and repair parts to Iranian aviation companies.
The EU’s sanctions regime includes a single specific restriction on providing engineering and maintenance services for cargo aircraft owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by an Iranian person.
In November 2013, Iran won limited relief from Western sanctions after agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear program for six months under an interim accord with the 5+1 group (the U.S., Britain, China, France, Russia, and Germany) which took effect in January.
In July 2014, the 5+1 group agreed to extend the period for four more months.
The agreement provided an opportunity for commercial airplane manufacturers to again venture into Iran’s civil aviation market legally.