Posted by TLB Editorial Staff
In a “business as usual” deal, the Military Industrial Complex does not let a “little terrorism” stand in it’s way… even if the buyer of it’s wares is listed by the United States Government as a state sponsor of terrorism. And never mind it is Iran Airlines we are talking about that wants to buy aircraft from Boeing. And never mind that Iran’s military frequently uses commercial airliners to transport troops, weapons and missiles around the world to groups like Hezbollah and Hamas and the Bashar Al-Assad regime in Syria. Never mind any of that. After all we are talking about a potential purchase with a $25 billion price tag. (TLB)
By Kristina Wong
Boeing Co. said Tuesday it signed an agreement with Iran Air “expressing the airline’s intent” to buy its aircraft in what would be the biggest business deal between Iran and a U.S. company since 1979.
The Chicago-based company said in a statement to The Associated Press that it signed the agreement “under authorizations from the U.S. government following a determination that Iran had met its obligations under the nuclear accord reached last summer.”
“Boeing will continue to follow the lead of the U.S. government with regards to working with Iran’s airlines, and any and all contracts with Iran’s airlines will be contingent upon U.S. government approval,” it said.
The State Department praised the aircraft sale and said it is the “type of permissible business activity envisioned” under the nuclear deal.
“The State Department welcomes Boeing’s announcement of this deal with Iran Air,” State Department press secretary John Kirby [pictured here] said at a briefing. “Boeing has been in close contact with the State Department regarding this deal.”
Iranian officials say they may purchase $25 billion in airplanes from Boeing. The country’s transportation minister, Abbas Akhoundi, told the AP that the first Boeing plane could arrive in Iran in October if the deal goes through.
House Republicans have warned the deal could have serious national security implications.
On Monday, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling [pictured here- Credit/Getty](R-Texas) and Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) sent a letter to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, arguing that U.S. businesses should not take part in “weaponizing” Iran’s regime.
The lawmakers argue that Iran’s military frequently uses commercial airliners to transport troops, weapons and missiles around the world to groups like Hezbollah and Hamas and the Bashar Al-Assad regime in Syria.
“These terrorist groups and rogue regimes have American blood on their hands,” they wrote. “Your potential customers do as well.”
Roskam [pictured here] on Tuesday said he will seek to block the Boeing transaction.
“If this moves forward, Boeing and terror will be intertwined,” he told USA Today. “Congress will not be sitting by idly without something to say about it.”
Despite the nuclear deal, Iran is still listed by the State Department as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Kirby said he was not aware of any other similar case where a U.S. manufacturer had been given a license to sell planes to a state sponsor of terrorism, but that the Iran deal laid out “appropriation conditions” for such sales, including banning its resale or transfer to anyone on a special designated list.
Vicki Needham contributed to this report.
[Pictorial content and emphasis added by TLB]
TLB sees other articles of interest at TheHill.com
About the author Kristina Wong