Boeing Raises Stakes in Iran Jet Deal

Boeing Says Rivals Not Allowed to Sell Aircraft to Iran If Congress Blocks Jet Deal

A senior official with US aviation giant Boeing said if its deal to sell passenger planes to Iran is blocked by the US Congress, all other US companies that supply to its rivals should be prohibited as well.

Ray Conner, the chief executive of Boeing’s commercial jetliner unit, said on Sunday that any effort to legislatively block its 80-jet deal with Iran Air should not unfairly disadvantage the plane maker against its rivals, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Earlier, US lawmakers passed two amendments directed at Chicago-based Boeing, which had offered Iranian airlines three models of new aircraft to replace the country’s aging fleet.

The legislation was added to a financial services spending bill that the House cleared by vote of 239-185.

The amendments passed last week by the House “will be between Congress and the administration and we’ll follow the lead of which the government tells us what we can do and what we can’t do,” Conner said.

“If we’re not allowed to go forward, then sure as heck no other US company should be allowed to go forward either. That would mean any other US supplier to any other manufacturer.”

Airbus has said it, too, requires Washington’s approval to export airliners to Iran because the planes involve US-made parts.

Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) reached the landmark nuclear agreement on July 14, 2015. The deal ended international economic sanctions against Tehran, allowing airline manufacturers to re-enter the market.

Head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) Ali Abedzadeh said in June that Tehran and US aerospace giant Boeing have reached a deal for the purchase of 100 aircraft in a bid to upgrade the country’s aging fleet.

Back in January, Iran had also signed a major deal worth $27 billion with aviation giant Airbus to purchase 118 planes from the company. The deal with Airbus was sealed during a state visit to Paris by Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.

Iran has a fleet of 250 aircraft, of which 90 are grounded due to the economy or missing parts, Managing Director of Iran Air Farhad Parvaresh said recently.

Of that total, 80 percent will need to be renewed in the next decade, he said, adding that growth could add even more jets to Iran’s shopping list.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

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