Boeing criticizes ban on Iran deal
American aerospace and defense giant Boeing has criticized a possible ban by Congress on its multi-billion dollar agreement with Iran, saying that all rivaling companies should also withdraw their contracts with Tehran in case the ban is finalized.
Speaking in London on Sunday, Ray Conner, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Boeing’s commercial jetliner unit, said that attempts by American lawmakers to block the company’s 80-jet deal with Iran would only put Boeing in a disadvantaged position against its rivals.
Iranian airliner IranAir and Boeing reached a memorandum of agreement (MOA) in June, under which a total of 80 aircraft will be sold to Iran and a further 29 will be leased with Boeing’s support as part of a $25 billion contract.
However, the US House of Representatives blocked the deal on Thursday, with opponents arguing that Iran would use aircraft parts for “a military purpose.”
Congress passed two of the three measures that were drafted by its Financial Services subcommittee about the deal.
One of the measures would require the the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC ) not to license the sale of the planes to Iran.
Another measure prohibits the Export-Import Bank from financing any entity engaged in business with Tehran or any other one that provides financing to another entity to facilitate transactions with it.
Meanwhile, Boeing’s European rival Airbus is also awaiting Washington’s approval of an agreement with Tehran over the purchase of 118 planes, worth over $27 billion.
More than 10 percent of Airbus components are made in the US, making the US Treasury’s green-light mandatory before the deal can proceed.
“If we’re not allowed to go forward, then sure as heck no other US company should be allowed to go forward either and that would be any US supplier to any other manufacturer,” Conner was quoted as saying by the Seattle Times.
Aside from Airbus, companies like Bombardier; Embraer and COMAC also use American parts and should be subjected to the ban, Conner added.
The deals with Boeing and Airbus came after aircraft sanctions against Tehran were lifted under a landmark nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 group of nations—the US, Russia, France, Britain, China and Germany—reached in July last year.
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