TEHRAN, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- Iran said it negotiated to pay Boeing only $8 billion for 80 new passenger planes -- half the amount the American manufacturer originally reported Iran would pay.
On Dec. 11, the Republic of Iran announced it finalized the $16.6 billion contract to supply Iran airplanes over 10 years.
"Boeing has announced that its IranAir contract is worth $16.6 billion. However, considering the nature of our order and its choice possibilities, the purchase contract for 80 Boeing aircraft is worth about 50 percent of that amount," said Deputy Transport Minister Asghar Fakhrieh-Kashan on Sunday, according to Iran's IRNA state news agency.
Boeing spokesman Doug Adler told CNN the company would not "comment on or share details of agreements with any customer."
Iran will purchase 50 737 airliners and 30 777s, and last week announced it will pay an initial $226 million for the first 15 planes.
Years of sanctions have left Iran with outdated and unsafe aircraft.
Because it agreed to curtail its nuclear program as part of an agreement with major global powers, including the United States, the sanctions on Iran were lifted, allowing it to purchase the planes.
European aviation giant Airbus announced a contract last week to sell 100 jets to Iran Air. Airbus said the deal be worth $18 billion to $20 billion at list prices, but the head of Iran Air, Farhad Parvaresh, Iran Air's chief executive officer, said in a news conference in Tehran that the value of the contract would not exceed $10 billion.
Fakhrieh-Kashan also said Sunday that Iran Air may exercise an option to buy 20 more aircraft from ATR, a European maker of regional turboprops, in addition to a planned order of 20 72-600 aircraft. ATR is co-owned by Airbus and Italy's Finmeccanica.