Gulf Daily News: Russian and Iranian officials yesterday discussed trade and economic co-operation, including a possible purchase of Russian passenger jets by Iran. The contract for the delivery of five Russian Tu-204-100 aircraft to Iran could be signed next year, Russia's Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko said after talks with Iranian Economy Minister Safdar Hosseini. Gulf Daily News

MOSCOW - Russian and Iranian officials yesterday discussed trade and economic co-operation, including a possible purchase of Russian passenger jets by Iran.

The contract for the delivery of five Russian Tu-204-100 aircraft to Iran could be signed next year, Russia's Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko said after talks with Iranian Economy Minister Safdar Hosseini.

"I hope it will happen early next year," Khristenko said, according to the Itar-Tass news agency. He refused to elaborate on the contract's value, saying it's still being negotiated.

Khristenko said that Iran could agree to buy a greater number of Russian aircraft.

The talks also focused on Iran's participation in the construction of a hydropower plant that Russia would build in the ex-Soviet republic of Tajikistan in Central Asia.