The Iran nuclear deal paved the way for U.S. aerospace corporation Boeing to make a deal with Iran’s state-controlled airline, Iran Air. However, Trump’s recent decision to decertify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement has prompted a shift in thinking on the landmark deal between Boeing and Iran Air. Special licenses from the Treasury Department are needed to move forward, according to U.S. officials and those in Congress who are familiar with the shift in thinking on the issue.
According to sources, who point out concerns over Iran Air’s use of commercial airplanes to transport military troops, the Trump administration is said to be viewing the sales with an increasingly critical eye and is moving, at this point, toward killing the sales.
Although the sale could create new American jobs, it is reported that U.S. officials say that the administration and Congress will not permit any business deal that enables Iran’s military efforts and pursuit of regional dominance.
It was first disclosed in August, that Congress was investigating new evidence that Iran Air has been ferrying its military to Syria in violation of international laws. It is believed that there is mounting concern in the Trump administration and Congress that Iran would use a fleet of new Boeing planes to boost its regional intervention in hotspots such as Syria, where Iranian-backed militants have reportedly attacked American coalition forces.
The final decision has not been made, and according to one source familiar with administration deliberations on the issue, “This is a careful consensus, ongoing process. They’re adding up everything in all the columns. They’re not just deciding ‘well it’s more important for Boeing to make money’ or ‘well it’s more important to prevent Iran from sending troops to Assad.’” The source added, “But I wouldn’t count on the Trump to administration to easily allow any company, let alone an American company, to fuel Iran’s war machine. Their priority is the opposite.”
A vocal opponent of the deal, Rep. Peter Roskam (R., Ill.), stated, “Iran Air is the terror-supporting transport-arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). It would be foolish to allow Iran Air to buy hundreds of jets from Western companies the carrier can use to continue shipping jihadis and arms to the Assad regime and terror proxies.” He added, “To have a truly effective and coherent Iran policy, we need to clamp down on every single entity that supports the IRGC, including Iran Air. There should be no exceptions.”
Roskam petitioned the Trump administration last week to formally kill the deal based on Iran Air’s continued relationship with the IRGC, which the Trump administration recently designated as a terror organization. “Preventing the sale of aircraft to Iran while its commercial aviation sector serves as a client of the IRGC is fully aligned with the administration’s goals of raising the cost of Iran’s destabilizing behavior and countering the IRGC,” Roskam wrote. “By targeting a core Iranian weapons transport method, the U.S. can proactively weaken Iran’s future ability to send weapons and militiamen from Iran to Syria to fight for Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah.”
A source who could only speak on background about deliberations surrounding the Boeing deal, said, “The House has already voted multiple times to block the sale of commercial airliners to the regime in Tehran. We will continue to work to prevent U.S.-made airplanes from being repurposed as weapons of war.”
“The Trump administration has done a tremendous job of reasserting American leadership in the world by standing up to thuggish regimes after eight years of retreat,” Rep. Sean Duffy (R., Wis.) said. “President Trump should continue to put America First and prevent Boeing sales from going to the world’s leading state-sponsor of terror, Iran.”
The Treasury Department, who handles licensing issues surrounding Boeing’s deal, has not commented on the issue. Still, in a recent speech, Sigal Mandelker, Treasury’s under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said that, “we are continuing to ramp up the economic pressure on Iran’s illicit networks using all of the tools and authorities at our disposal.”
Source » ncr-iran