US allows Boeing and Airbus to sell planes to Iran

The United States on Wednesday removed a final hurdle for Western aircraft manufacturers to sell planes to Iran, a country desperately in need of hundreds of new aircraft. The Treasury Department granted the aviation giants Airbus and Boeing licences to deliver planes to Tehran. The decision is a boon not only for the two companies but also for Iranian politicians who want to expand Iran?s engagement with the world now that sanctions linked to Iran?s nuclear programme have been lifted. A spokesman for Boeing said the license covered the sale of 80 planes to Iran?s national carrier, Iran Air. Airbus confirmed that it received a license for an initial sale of 17 planes, part of a larger deal that involves a total of 118 planes. ?From today, we will have safe planes,? President Hassan Rouhani of Iran promised in January when the accord between Iran and six world powers, including the United States, became fully operational. While the United States has relaxed most of its sanctions against Iran, Washington still demands that even non-American manufacturers wishing to sell to Iran obtain an export license if their products include materials made in the United States. Airbus, based in Europe, buys more than 40 per cent of all its aircraft parts in the United States. ?This is very good news for President Rouhani,? said Nader Karimi Joni, an analyst who supports the government. ?He needed this news back home. Bringing Airbus will fend off critics and make him popular.? A Boeing spokesman said the company was hoping to sell 46 single-aisle 737s; 30 wide-body 777s and four 747s. Justin Dubon, an Airbus spokesman in Toulouse, France, confirmed that the plane maker had obtained an initial license from the Treasury to sell 17 planes to Iran ? part of a landmark, multibillion-dollar order announced in January for 118 Airbus aircraft, ranging from smaller single-aisle jets to several 555-seat A380 ?superjumbo? wide-body aircraft. Courtesy: GulfNews.Com

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