Iranair Seeking Suppliers Unaffected by U.S. Sanctions to Bolster Fleet

IranAir is looking to buy planes from any company not requiring U.S. sales permits; most modern commercial planes have more than 10 percent of U.S. parts, the threshold at which U.S. Treasury approval is necessary

FILE PHOTO: A logo of IranAir is pictured on an Airbus A321, January 11, 2017.
Regis Duvignau/Reuters

IranAir is looking to buy planes from any company that does not require U.S. sales permits, as Iran tries to renew its aging fleet despite facing U.S. sanctions. They may consider Russia’s Sukhoi Superjet 100, the head of Iran's flag carrier was quoted as saying. 

The U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) revoked licenses for Boeing Co. (BA.N) and Airbus (AIR.PA) to sell passenger jets to Iran after President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement in May and reimposed sanctions.

“We welcome any (company) that is able to provide the planes needed by IranAir. We have even gone after planes such as Sukhoi 100 and other planes made by non-European countries,” said IranAir Chief Executive Farzaneh Sharafbafi, quoted by Iran’s Roads Ministry website.

Most modern commercial planes have more than 10 percent of U.S. parts, the threshold at which U.S. Treasury approval is necessary. Russian officials have been reported as saying Sukhoi is working on reducing the number of U.S. parts in  hopes of winning an Iranian order for up to 100 aircraft.

“We will consider plane purchases if these companies can sell planes to Iran without an OFAC license and are willing to negotiate,” Sharafbafi added. She gave no further details.

IranAir had ordered 200 passenger aircraft - 100 from Airbus, 80 from Boeing and 20 from Franco-Italian turboprop maker ATR. All the deals were dependent on U.S. licenses because of the heavy use of American parts in commercial planes.