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Iran Receives More Airplanes Ahead Of Renewed U.S. Sanctions

Iran Receives Planes Before Sanctions Take Effect
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Iran has received five new commercial aircraft just before the United States starts reimplementing sanctions that had been lifted under the nuclear accord with world powers.

Iran's state-run IRNA news agency reported the arrival on August 5 of the five ATR72-600 airplanes -- twin-engine turboprops used for short-distance regional flights, made and sold by ATR, a firm jointly owned by European consortium Airbus and Italy's Leonardo, and based in the French city of Toulouse.

Including the latest delivery, state carrier Iran Air has received 13 of the 20 aircraft it ordered from the French-Italian manufacturer in April 2017.

The deal had a list value of $536 million.

The delivery represented perhaps the last benefits Iran will see under the 2015 nuclear deal, which lifted international sanctions in return for Iran limiting its nuclear program and allowing regular inspections.

U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the accord in May. Economic troubles are sparking sporadic protests across Iran.

Iran's economy has rapidly deteriorated in recent months due in part to uncertainty over the atomic accord, fueling the protests. The Iranian rial has fallen to 99,000 to the U.S. dollar despite a government-imposed rate of 44,000.

Protests have broken out in several cities, with at least one person shot and killed in recent days. Some protesters have shouted "Mullahs get lost!" and "Death to the dictator!" the semiofficial Fars news agency has reported.

Based on reporting by AP and IRNA