Tehran - A few days before the US sanctions go into effect on Iran; the country claims to take possession of five more ATR aircraft based in Toulouse.

Iran Air announced the acquisition on Saturday, August 4. The five aircraft are landed at Mehrabad Airport in Tehran on Sunday, August 5, according to the state-owned news agency IRNA.

For the delivery of the ATRs, the French Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire had intervened. To facilitate the delivery, he spent weeks negotiating with his US counterpart Steven Mnuchin.

Iran Air signed a contract for 20 ATR 72-600 last year with the Franco - Italian manufacturer. The devices should be delivered by the end of 2018. But after the US exit from the nuclear deal with Iran and the imposition of new sanctions on the country, the contract could not be fully implemented. Only eight ATRs were delivered so far.

Iran claims that US sanctions are risking lives by blocking the sale of new aircraft and spare parts for its aging fleets.

Another Persian carrier Aseman Airlines had been ordered to ground its fleet of ATR planes in February 2018 after one of them crashed in the Zagros mountains, killing all 66 people onboard.