House Votes to Block Civilian Aircraft Sales to Iran, Threatening Boeing Deal

Amendment Bans Office of Foreign Asset Control From Licensing Sales

by Jason Ditz, July 10, 2016

In a move that threatens to cost major US airplane manufacturer Boeing $25 billion, the House of Representatives has tacked an amendment on to their latest spending bill which would ban all civilian aircraft sales to Iran under any circumstances.

Though the Congressmen pushing the bill presenting it as aimed at presenting Iran from acquiring aircraft “for military purposes,” the amendment forbade the Office of Foreign Asset Control to license any sales of any aircraft.

This would not only block Boeing’s $25 billion sales, but European maker Airbus, whose planes include some American-made parts and subsequently need a US OFAC license as well. In effect, this would forbid Iran from buying any planes for their effort to modernize a dangerously outdated civilian fleet.

This ban is, of course, contingent on the House version being reconciled with the Senate version, though Republican sponsors of the amendment claimed little to no opposition from the Democrats, or anyone else for that matter. Boeing’s lobbyists face an uphill battle to keep this out of the final bill.

At the same time, if it passed the bill is almost certain to produce more angry condemnations from the EU. EU leaders were already complaining the US has been threatening their banks to prevent lucrative, and perfectly legal, deals with Iran. If they cost Airbus tens of billions of dollars, it’s likely to rile people all the more about America’s reneging on the P5+1 nuclear deal.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz