US Congress may interfere in Iran aircraft deals
The House of Representatives of the US Congress approved a bill that obliges the Minister of Finance to regularly provide lawmakers with data on all monetary transactions related to sales of passenger planes to Iran.
According to the lawmakers, Tehran is suspected of using civil aircraft for military purposes, in particular for the transport of missiles and other cargo to Syria.
The initiative was supported by 252 congressmen, while 167 opposed. The draft bill will go to the Senate and, if approved, to the US President.
According to the bill, the Minister of Finance will have to submit to Congressional committees lists of organizations that participated in transactions since January 16, 2016 (day of the lifting of sanctions with Iran after the adoption of the "nuclear deal"). Also, the head of the department should assure lawmakers that the money will not be transferred to terrorists and persons related to the development of weapons of mass destruction.
However, Democrats are against this idea. In their view, Iran can blame the US for violating the terms of the "nuclear deal", since it involves interfering in cooperation with American corporations.
On December 14, the US Permanent Representative to the UN, Nikki Haley presented at Washington fragments of missiles, launched from Yemen to Saudi Arabia on November 4. The fragments belong to the shells of Iranian production. According to the representative, this indicates that Iran has been supplying the Houthi rebels with arms.
However, Iran rejected US accusations, calling them "provocative and destructive".
On December 11, 2016, Boeing and Iran Air has signed an agreement for 80 aircraft including 50 737 MAX 8s, 15 777-300ERs and 15 777-9s, valued at $16.6 billion at list prices. The contract was reached within the terms of the US government license issued to Boeing in September 2016. The first airplanes under this agreement are scheduled for delivery in April 2018.
The same month, Iran Air signed a contract with Airbus for 100 aircraft. For now, Airbus has delivered 3 aircraft.
These agreements were made after Tehran and 6 other countries – China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States – signed a landmark deal to resolve Iran’s disputed nuclear program in 2015. As a result, some of the sanctions imposed on Iran’s economy were lifted in January 2016.
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