EghtesadOnline: The US Treasury is reviewing licenses for Boeing and Airbus to sell aircraft to Iran, department head, Steven Mnuchin, said on Wednesday, telling lawmakers he would increase sanctions pressure on Iran.
Mnuchin did not elaborate on the review of the licenses, which were issued under a 2015 agreement between Tehran and world powers to lift sanctions in return for curbs on Iran’s nuclear activities.
The review suggests that Trump’s support for Boeing’s defense and jetliner businesses could have political limits, Reuters reported.
Iran has accused Washington of supporting terrorism by backing rebels in Syria and says halting the airplane deals would breach the 2015 nuclear agreement, Financial Tribune reported.
For Boeing, losing the Iran Air deal could affect 777 production, since 15 of the wide-body jetliners are included in the first approved batch of Boeing aircraft due for delivery to Iran Air by 2020. Deliveries start in May next year.
Boeing said in December it would cut 777 output by 40% this year under plans that include Iran Air’s still-tentative order.
Iran Air has agreed to buy 200 US and European passenger aircraft worth up to $37 billion at list prices, though such deals typically include big discounts. They include 80 jets from Boeing, 100 from Airbus and 20 turboprops from Franco-Italian ATR.
All the aircraft need US licenses because of their reliance on US parts.
“Boeing continues to follow the lead of the US government with regard to working with Iran’s airlines, and any and all contracts with Iran’s airlines are contingent upon US government approval,” a spokeswoman said by email.
An Airbus spokesman had no immediate comment.
In its first business with the Islamic Republic since US President Donald Trump took office vowing a tougher stance on Iran in January, Boeing last month announced a tentative deal to sell 30 jets to Iran Aseman Airlines, its third-largest carrier.
Boeing said it would apply for licenses for the deal.
People involved in the deals say the US Treasury has so far issued licenses for the main contracts between western suppliers and Iran Air, but that many need to be renewed beyond 2020.
Iran Air does not need further approvals to take delivery of the first 70 or so aircraft, they say, though legal experts have said the US Treasury can withdraw licenses at any time.
About a third of the Airbus jets, or some 37, also are due to arrive by 2020, including three already delivered.
Iran Air last week took delivery of four ATR turboprops and plans to take the remaining 16 next year.