Economy, Business And Markets

US State Department Welcomes Iran-Boeing Deal

US State Department Welcomes Iran-Boeing Deal
US State Department Welcomes Iran-Boeing Deal

The US State Department says it welcomes Boeing’s announcement of a deal with Iran Air and that it involves the “type of permissible business activity envisioned” in the Iran nuclear deal.

“The State Department welcomes Boeing’s announcement of this deal with Iran Air,” State Department Press Secretary John Kirby said at a briefing on Tuesday, Washington DC-based newspaper The Hill reported. “Boeing has been in close contact with the State Department regarding this deal.”  

Boeing announced earlier Tuesday that it had signed an agreement with Iran Air “expressing the airline’s intent” to buy its aircraft, in what would be the biggest business deal between Iran and a US company since 1979.  

Kirby said the US committed to license sales of civil passenger aircraft as part of the Iran deal, which lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for temporary curbs on its nuclear program.  

“The [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] provides an opening for civil aviation companies, including American companies, to pursue legitimate commerce with Iran and we note reports of progress in the aviation sector, which is good both—for both the economy and for public safety,” he said.

Iranian officials say they may purchase $25 billion in airplanes from Boeing on par with the country’s earlier agreement with its European rival, Airbus. That deal was for 118 new planes. Iran also has ordered 20 airplanes from French-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR.

Iran’s transportation minister, Abbas Akhoundi, told AP that the first Boeing plane could arrive in Iran in October if the deal goes through.  

Flag carrier Iran Air says it is buying new generations of Boeing 737, as well as the 300ER and 900 version of the Boeing 777 under a Lease-Purchase contract that it recently signed with the American planemaker for purchase of 100 jets.

The 737s are single-aisle jets, typically used for flights of up to five hours. They are powered solely by engines made by West Chester-based CFM International, a joint venture of GE Aviation and Safran of France.

The 777 is a larger plane that can carry passengers for 12 hours or more; the GE-90 engine is one of three available power plants for the airframe.