US Treasury Dept Issues Licenses for Airplane Sales to Iran

Licenses Will Allow Boeing, Airbus to Export Passenger Planes

by Jason Ditz, September 21, 2016

The US Treasury Department has announced that they have issued export licenses to both Boeing and Airbus to allow them to sell certain commercial passenger planes to Iran, with officials noting they were obliged to stop blocking such sales under the P5+1 nuclear deal.

This isn’t to say the deals, which both companies have already signed, are free and clear, as international banks are still feeling US pressure to block Iran from using them to transfer funds unfrozen by the nuclear deal, so paying for the planes will still be a struggle.

Even beyond that hassle, which a few companies have managed to circumvent, Congress is also hoping to block the effort, with several Republican leaders accusing the sales of being for military purposes, even though the only things being sought are specifically passenger airliners.

Iran’s state-owned airline has struggled for years with getting the parts to keep its obsolete fleet in the air, and several nations have banned the airliner not because of hostility toward Iran, but simply because of safety concerns. The planes are mostly old US planes bought by Iran in the 1960s. Iran is hoping to nearly fully replace the fleet with the money freed up by the P5+1 deal, but they continue to struggle with access to international banking.

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