In 1965, their first jet plane, a Boeing 727, arrived. This plane became an important part of Iran Air's fleet because it allowed the airline to reach both European and remote Iran areas faster. The much desired route to New York was opened in 1970 with Boeing 707 aircraft, but those aircraft were later replaced on the route with Boeing 747SP jets in 1976. In the late 1970s, Iran Air was the fastest growing airline in the world. In 1978, the airline bought six Airbus A300-B4 aircraft to be used in its domestic and regional routes.
With the Islamic revolution of 1979, Iran Air had to suddenly halt all it's services to New York, as a consequence of the embargo imposed by the United States on Iran. Because of that, the 747SP's began to be used heavily on the airline's European and Asian routes. In 3 July, 1988, Iran Air Flight 655 was flying over the Persian Gulf on its way to the Dubai from Bandar Abbas. According to official documents, when the plane flew near the ship USS Vincennes, the airplane's crew failed to respond to a warning sent from the boat. After a few more warnings, the ship fired a few bombs, and the plane exploded after being hit, everyone on board dying. This tragedy almost caused an international incident. All investigations, reports and documents are indicative of the fact that this tragedy could have been avoided. The United States called the incident a tragic mistake.
A comprehensive public investigative report on the subject was the article entitled “Sea of Lies” published in Newsweek of July 13, 1992 condemned Capt. Will Rogers, the commander of USS Vincennes a US Navy cruiser which, according to the article, was equipped with the most sophisticated radar and electronic battle gear in the US Navy.
In 1992, a plane belonging to charter airline Iran Air Tours, a subsidiary of Iran Air, also crashed, while trying to land at Tehran. In that case, there wasn't any survivors either. During the 1990s, Iran Air was able to buy some Fokker F-100 planes, but, again because of the embargo, that was the only type that joined the fleet during the '90s. In 2001 the airline bought several second-hand Airbus A310 aircraft, when the United States blocked its purchase of new Airbus A330 aircraft.
Iran Air has suffered a bad spare pieces drought, because it's hard for the airline to find anyone around the world that would sell them new airplane tools under the current political situation. Its fleet consists of Boeing, Airbus and Fokker equipment, and the airline's livery consists of an all white fuselage plane, with the name Iran Air on dark, block letters above the passenger windows, and a dark blue drawing of a bird named Homa on the tail, with a shade of dark-blue over it. The acronym Homa formed from the initial letter of each of the successive parts of the name in Persian of Iran Air (Havapeymayeh Meliyeh Iran). Model airplane wise, Iran Air is under contract with Schabak of Germany.