Bombardier Inc. is in discussions with Iran to sell the country its aviation and rail products.
Pierre Beaudoin, chairman of the Montreal-based aerospace and transportation company, and other executives were in Iran last week for talks.
Bloomberg News reported that the negotiations concerned setting up an airline to serve Qeshm Island in the Persian Gulf. Iran reportedly wants better air connection to the island to promote tourism there.
However, it was denied by a Bombardier spokesperson on April 24 that the company was planning on launching and running an airline in Iran. But she did say talks in general were progressing between Bombardier and its Iranian interlocutors.
Despite the denial from Bombardier, Iran’s official Mehr News Agency announced April 25 that the company is planning to set up an airline in Qeshm within the next two months.
In January, Ottawa announced it would begin lifting some sanctions against Iran, following the conclusion of an agreement between the regime and the six western powers to contain its nuclear program last year.
Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion said at the time, referring to Bombardier’s hopes to do business in Iran: “If Airbus [a French company] is able to do it, why will Bombardier not be able to do it? In which way is it helping Canada, or the Iranian people or anyone that Canada is hurting its own industry?”
Bombardier was known to want to sell regional jets to the country’s national airline, Iran Air.
The American aircraft manufacturer Boeing has also been trying to drum up business in Iran lately.
Bombardier has had long business ties with Israel, supplying the country with railway equipment since 1999.