U.S. House Undermines Boeing's $25 Billion Deal With Iran

Two amendments to a bill block sales from the U.S. aircraft giant as well as its European rival, Airbus, to the Islamic republic.

An Iran Air Boeing 747 passenger plane sitting on the tarmac of the domestic Mehrabad airport in the Iranian capital, Tehran, in 2013. The airliner will buy 100 new Boeings in a $25-billion deal.
Behrouz Mehri/AFP

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved two amendments to an appropriations bill that would ban U.S. aircraft sales to Iran, undermining a $25 billion deal in the works, the Guardian reported.

The amendments, authored by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Illinois), block sales from U.S.-based Boeing and its European rival Airbus over concerns that Iran would use the planes for military purposes.

The first amendment prevents the Office of Foreign Assets Control from using funds to authorize the license necessary for the aircraft to be sold to Iran. The second one blocks loans from U.S. financial institutions for the purchase of planes that can be adapted for military use.

"Iran systemically uses commercial aircraft to spread death, destruction and mayhem, and we can do something about it," Roskam said on the House floor.

According to the Guardian, the Illinois congressman opposes doing business with the Islamic republic and maintains that the Iranian government is a supporter of violent jihad around the globe.

Last month, Iran announced that it was close to reaching an agreement with Boeing to buy 100 planes in a deal worth over $25 billion. The historic sale would be the first since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Airbus had reached an agreement in January to sell Tehran 118 planes. Because some of the aircraft components are made in the U.S., the deal was awaiting approval from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control.

The day after the approval of the amendments, an Iranian foreign ministry spokesman said step was "incompatible" with the country's nuclear deal with the U.S. Under the deal, America lifted the economic sanctions previously levied on Iran in return for Tehran curbing its nuclear ambitions.

“We have nothing to do with U.S. internal affairs,” Bahram Ghasemi was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency. “We consider the government of the United States to be responsible for implementing the country’s commitments” under the accord.