By Joshua Yasmeh
Weeks after Secretary of State John Kerry fell on his knees and begged Europe’s top banks to begin investing in Iran, the Obama administration is set to allow American aircraft sales to the Islamic Republic. In an apparent effort to kick start Iran’s ailing economy, the US Treasury Department is now approving requests from both US and European plane makers to begin selling planes and aircraft equipment. The sales are seen as the “highest-profile trade breakthroughs since nuclear sanctions were lifted on the Islamic Republic in January,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
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Representatives from industry heavyweights Boeing and Airbus confirmed Wednesday that they would begin exporting jetliners to Iran to supplement the Iran Air fleet. Officials from both companies have made multiple trips to Tehran over the last couple of months in anticipation of a sales deal.
Airbus was the first company to have its sales license approved. The company plans on shipping 12 airplanes to Iran Air. Boeing was granted approval shortly after. The American plane maker hopes to sell 80 planes to Iran Air for a projected sum of $17.6 billion. Other companies are likely to follow suit now that Pandora’s box is open.
With the Treasury Department unblocking sanctions against plane sales to Iran, the once-isolated theocratic state is on its way to irreversibly integrating itself into the global economy.
Iran’s current fleet of aircraft ranks among the oldest in the world. After years of crushing sanctions, the country has been left with outdated equipment and poorly functioning planes.
While Iran Air is eager to modernize its fleet, clerical hard liners in Iran are not all that happy about increasingly normalized relations with the West.
Western plane makers may face some obstacles of their own as well. Republican lawmakers have already attempted to block Boeing from selling aircraft to Iran. Although the sales are likely to get pushed through anyway, the anti-Iran coalition of Congressional Republicans and Democrats which has opposed the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran every step of the way can still complicate the logistics of successfully executing financial dealings with Iran.
“There is a still a long way to go and many more hurdles to overcome before Iran can actually take delivery of these planes—and thankfully Congress is committed to making the process as difficult and expensive as possible,” Illinois GOP Congressman Peter J. Roskam tells the Journal. In addition, the two parties involved in the sales can be forced to use foreign currency (likely euros) as opposed to American dollars.
SOURCE: The Daily Wire
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