Boeing signs airplane deal with Iran

Boeing has signed a deal to sell commercial passenger airplanes to Iran, Boeing said Tuesday, marking the first time the US airplane manufacturer has done business with the country in nearly 37 years.

The deal was negotiated "under authorizations from the US government following a determination that Iran had met its obligations under the nuclear accord reached last summer," Boeing spokesperson Paul Bergman said in an email.

In an interview published Sunday, Ali Abedzadeh, head of Iran's Civil Aviation Organization, said Iran Air intended to buy 100 aircraft from the US aviation giant, but was waiting for the US to approve the deal.

The last time Boeing and Iran did business was almost 37 years ago, before the Islamic revolution and the breaking off of diplomatic ties following the Iran hostage crisis starting in 1979.

After the Iranian nuclear deal - officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)- was reached in 2015, Boeing was allowed again to sell spare parts for passenger planes in Iran.

The US State Department welcomed Boeing's announcement, saying it involves "the type of permissible business activity envisioned in the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action)."

"The JCPOA provides an opening for civil aviation companies, including American companies, to pursue legitimate commerce with Iran ... which is good ... for both the economy and for public safety," spokesman John Kirby said.

Boeing said any future contracts would also be subject to US government approval.

In addition to the purchase of the new Boeing aircraft, Iran has also ordered 118 jets from Europe's Airbus company as part of plans to modernize its fleet.

Last update: Tue, 28/06/2016 - 17:25

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