“Two Iranian airlines made prospective deals with Airbus on Thursday (June 22) to buy 73 jetliners, a signal that the global aerospace industry is betting such sales to Iran will prevail despite increased hostility by the Trump administration,” the New York Times reported.
Since the official beginning of the implementation of the landmark nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), between Iran and the world six powers in January 2016 and lifting of the international sanctions against Iran in return for Iran’s verifiable pledges of peaceful nuclear work, Tehran has ordered over 200 planes to renew its civilian air fleet. Iranian air carriers have made arrangements over the past year to buy up to 140 planes from Boeing and 100 from Airbus.
‘The prospective deals, described by Airbus as memorandums of understanding, are worth as much as $2.5 billion and were announced by the company at the Paris Air Show, an important sales event for plane manufacturers,” the US daily wrote. If completed, the deals would further solidify Iran as a significant customer in the industry, dominated by Boeing in the United States and Airbus in Europe. The deals are permitted under the 2015 nuclear agreement. According to the article, the deals even for the Airbuses still must be licensed by the United States government because many components and technology in the aircraft are made in the United States and are subject to export control regulations.
While President Trump has railed against the nuclear accord with Iran,… his administration has grudgingly gone along with the agreement. He also has made no known moves so far to substantively change export licensing policies. The aircraft deals in particular have presented a challenge to Trump because they could support thousands of manufacturing jobs in the United States, a major theme of his presidential campaign. At the same time, critics of Iran in the United States have urged him to stop those deals.
Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis at Teal Group Corp., an aviation consultancy, said the willingness of Airbus and Boeing to engage with Iran “reflects a belief that Trump will need to choose between jobs and foreign policy considerations, and he hasn’t proven particularly able to roll back international trade agreements.” Farhad R. Alavi, managing partner at Akrivis Law Group, a Washington-based firm that specializes in sanctions and export laws, said the aircraft deals had placed Trump in a conundrum. According to Airbus’s announcements at the Paris Air Show, Iran’s Airtour Airline intends to buy 45 upgraded versions of the A320 jet, and Zagros Airlines intends to buy 20 upgraded A320s and eight upgraded A330s. After 18 month of intensive talks and conducting feasibility studies by experts, […]