Iran Deal to Buy Boeing Planes Sparks Ire in Congress

Boeing Sees 'Substantial' Market Opportunity in Deal

by Jason Ditz, June 15, 2016

After months of griping that US companies are being left out of the bonanza of potential contracts for the reconstruction of Iran after the P5+1 nuclear deal, several in Congress are now riled up by reports that major US company Boeing is close to finalizing a deal with Iran.

Iran’s civilian airliners had been many decades out of date, and in many cases so unsafe they weren’t allowed in some countries. With Iranian assets being unfrozen, they’re keen to buy a new fleet, and after a deal in January with Europe’s Airbus, a multi-billion dollar deal with Boeing is likely next.

Boeing CEO Dennis Mullenburg told investors earlier this month that Iran represented a “substantial” market opportunity, and that they hoped to carve out a 50/50 market share with Airbus, despite being several months behind on getting a deal.

Rep. Peter Roskam (R – IL) slammed the potential deal, saying Congress believed it “jeopardizes the safety and security of the American people” for Iran to buy new civilian planes from an American company.

Congressional hawks would certainly be inclined to kill the deal for the heck of it, but Boeing is also a major military contractor with a lot of political clout, which is leading many analysts to conclude that the deal will ultimately go through.

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