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US may buy helicopters that Italy built for Iran

The US is negotiating the purchase of 11 Italian-built Boeing helicopters to prevent their possible delivery to Iran, the Pentagon said Tuesday. But spokesman Michael Burch said a deal had not been reached on the helicopters, which the Shah had ordered in the mid-1970s before he was deposed.

Defense officials said that in return for persuading Italy to withhold sale of the copters to Iran, it seemed only fair for the US to offer to buy the 11 planes itself. The officials put the cost to buy the 11 CH-47Cs at a total of about $110 million.

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