EghtesadOnline: ATR has applied for a new export license from the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to allow it to deliver the final 12 ATR 72s of an order for 20 of the 70-seat turboprops placed in 2016 by Iran Air, the Franco-Italian company confirmed on Monday, aviation media company AINonline reported.
OFAC recently revoked ATR’s previous license following US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal the US had signed with Iran and five other world powers.
The January 2016 implementation of the nuclear deal lifted sanctions barring the sale of commercial airplanes containing at least 10% of US components to Iran in return for the Islamic Republic’s agreement to limit the scope of its nuclear program.
The reimposition of sanctions is expected to prevent Airbus, ATR and Boeing from selling parts and providing support for the airplanes already delivered. All contain more than the proportion allowed under US Commerce Department-established Export Administration Regulations for sale to Iran, according to Financial Tribune.
Airbus, which sold a mix of 98 A320-family, A330, and A350 XWB jets to Iran Air in December 2016, delivered its first A321 in January last year. As of this May, Airbus has also delivered six A320s and two leased A330-200s.
Boeing inked a “definitive agreement” covering 50 737 Max 8s, 15 777-300ERs and 15 777-9s valued at $16.6 billion at list prices with Iran Air in December 2016 and another for 30 Max narrowbodies four months later. Although it too secured an OFAC license to start deliveries, it never converted the agreements to firm orders as questions persisted over whether the Trump administration would exercise its right to amend, modify, or revoke the license.
“The Iranians want to take delivery of their planes, but ATR will not take any risk of putting itself at odds with US authorities and exposing our shareholders Leonardo and Airbus to US sanctions,” ATR chief executive officer, Christian Scherer, told the French weekly financial newspaper La Tribune in a recent interview.
“The Americans have promised a three-month period (from May to August) to allow companies to deliver the materials that were in production at the time of Donald Trump’s announcement on [reimposition of] sanctions against Iran. This is only a statement of intent at this stage,” he explained, noting that “for the aviation industry, the three-month period is ridiculously short”.