Iran’s Mega Deal with Airbus inches closer to Finalization

The news about reaching a financing deal with a foreign leasing company is a breakthrough in efforts by Iranian companies to ink contracts with a major international firm. One of the main obstacles keeping international banks and business away from Iran is the ongoing hassle of transferring money to and from Iran due to remaining Western sanctions.

Iranian officials have not disclosed the name of the leasing company, but industry sources have previously said that Iran has asked UAE company Dubai Aerospace for assistance with financing the purchase of the first 17 Airbus jets.

“If Airbus had changed its mind about signing an agreement with Iran, it would not have sent a delegation to Tehran,” Fakhrieh Kashan said. “With the incoming US administration, there might be a possibility that Boeing accepts the pressures to revoke its agreement with Iran. By contrast, Europeans have showed that they have different stances.”

On Nov. 23, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei voiced objection to the US House’s recent vote to renew the Iran Sanctions Act. “The current US government has committed several violations of the nuclear agreement. The most recent [violation] is the 10-year extension of the sanctions,” he said. “If these sanctions are extended, [the US] should know that the Islamic Republic will definitely react to it.”

In the US, opponents of aircraft deals with Iran point out that the US Treasury imposed sanctions on Iran Air in 2011 for allegedly using passenger and cargo planes to transport military-related equipment to countries such as Lebanon and Syria. The claim was raised again on Nov. 22 by Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon.

On Nov. 23, Iranian Ambassador to the UN Gholamali Khoshroo denied Danon’s claims in a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “I find it quite ridiculous and hypocritical that the representative of a regime that has deprived Palestinian people from their basic human rights for several decades accuses Iran every once in a while of violating international law.”

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