Boeing, GE Seek Export Licenses to Sell Jet Parts to Iran

Amid Rapprochement, US Companies Aim to Get a Foot in the Door

President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have repeatedly made much of their determination to continue to bar international trade with Iran, despite an interim nuclear deal and growing international rapprochement making such sanctions less and less tenable. Even US companies are now aiming to test those restrictions.

It is now confirmed that both Boeing and General Electric, to major US aerospace companies, have applied for export licenses covering the six-month window of the interim deal, with an eye toward exporting jet parts to Iran.

GE confirmed the effort, saying they’ve been trying to get permission for such shipments since 2004 for safety reasons, since many of Iranair’s passenger jets are several decades old, and have not had access to replacement parts because of US sanctions.

Boeing declined comment on the matter at all, referring questions to the State Department, who similarly declined comment, referring questions to the Treasury Department. They too refused to comment, but didn’t refer questions anywhere else.

GE says they don’t intend to make a profit on the sales, and will either sell parts at cost or give the proceeds to charity. Industry experts say the companies are eager to get a foot in the door in Iran’s aerospace market, as Iranian officials have said that if a deal is reached and sanctions are lifted, they could buy as many as 400 new jets.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.