On Wednesday, Boeing and Airbus finalized a deal to sell eighty Boeing passenger jets and seventeen Airbus planes to Iran.
The deal includes thirty 777 and four 747-8i aircraft from Boeing among other models, giving the company a much needed boost.
The deal effectively ends sanctions that have been in place since 1979, and many are hoping that this is a step towards normalizing relations between the U.S. and Iran. “Once this deal is a fact it will be much harder for the hard-liners to try to prevent relations with the United States,” said Farshad Ghorbanpour, a political activist who supports Mr. Rouhani. “Nobody can deny that with the planes, people and know-how will enter Iran.”
In a news conference on Thursday, President Hassan Rouhani said that Iranian officials had already developed relationships with counterparts in both companies through “many visits,” iterating that Iran welcomed foreign business and investments. “I do not see any problems,” he told reporters. It is the United States government, he said, that is responsible for keeping American companies from the Iranian market. “If Americans have problems, they need to resolve their own problems,” he said.
Last month, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported that several teams of technical and financial representatives for Boeing were in Tehran to finalize the deal for the jets.
Boeing declined to say when the deliveries to Iran would begin, or how they would be paid for, Iran has had an economy depressed by sanctions since 1979.
“We have received that license and remain in talks with Iran Air” based on the memorandum of the agreement announced in June, Boeing said in a statement to the Business Journal. “Any final sales agreement would have to adhere to the license we’ve been issued.”
Airbus had a deal earlier in the year with Iran that was met with much fanfare, allegedly covering 118 jets worth $27 billion.
The U.S. Department of Treasury confirmed that the first two commercial passenger aircraft licenses had been issued to Boeing and Airbus so that they could export to Iran. The agreements do come with restrictions, as Iran is not permitted to convert the aircrafts to perform military functions said a U.S. Treasury spokeswoman who asked not to be identified while discussing matters of national security.
“These licenses contain strict conditions to ensure that the planes will be used exclusively for commercial passenger use and cannot be resold or transferred to a designated entity,” she said.