Aseman Confident Boeing Deal Will Pull Through

The deal is for Aseman to buy 30 737 Max jets from Boeing with an option for 30 more.The deal is for Aseman to buy 30 737 Max jets from Boeing with an option for 30 more.

Iran Aseman Airline, which has recently signed a $3 billion contract at list prices with Boeing, says it is confident the deal won’t face a political backlash in Washington.

Aseman Airlines, a private company whose largest owner is Iran’s National Pension Fund, signed a final purchase agreement with Boeing in Tehran on Saturday for 30 737 Max jets and an option for 30 more. Boeing is to deliver the first jets in 2022 though it has agreed that Aseman will have the option of receiving airplanes whose orders might be cancelled as of 2019.

“We’re a commercial company, like Boeing is a commercial company, and we’re operating in an economic sphere, not a political one,” Mostafavi told Bloomberg in an interview. “In this area, work is moving forward and things are getting underway.”

Boeing has applied to the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, for a license to see the deal through, the American planemaker said in an emailed statement.

Mostafavi had earlier told Financial Tribune that his company expects an OFAC license within a month.

Boeing and Aseman first announced the order in April. It is Boeing’s second plane sale to an Iranian airline since the 1970s, following a $16.6 billion agreement with flag carrier Iran Air that the Chicago-based manufacturer is still finalizing. The Aseman contract presents a test of the planemaker’s ties with US President Donald Trump, pitting his policy of promoting US manufacturing jobs against the administration’s vow to take a tougher stance on Iran.

An order of this size creates or sustains 18,000 jobs in the US, Boeing said, citing the Commerce Department. Perhaps indicating the political complexity of deals with Iran, the company emphasized that “it 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”.

On June 7, US senators overwhelmingly voted to advance a bill that would impose new sanctions on Iran. Trump’s own position on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which was brokered by the previous Democratic administration and led to the easing of sanctions last year, has been unclear. He has in the past criticized it for being “horrible” but has not yet moved to unwind Washington’s commitment to its terms.

“There shouldn’t be any problems,” Mostafavi said. “Iran Air was granted its OFAC license and so we don’t anticipate any issues either.”

Aseman will finance 5% of the cost via a cash payment to Boeing and the planemaker will arrange financing for the remaining 95%, he added.


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