On Wednesday, as a result of President Trump’s decision last month to pull the United States out of the disastrous nuclear deal, Boeing announced it will not deliver aircraft to Iran. A Boeing spokesman stated, “We have not delivered any aircraft to Iran, and given we no longer have a license to sell to Iran at this time, we will not be delivering any aircraft. We did not factor the Iran orders into our order backlog either.”
Boeing had already delayed the delivery dates on the Iran planes; during the Obama Administration, Boeing obtained U.S. Treasury licenses to begin conducting business. In December 2016, Boeing announced it would sell 80 aircraft valued at $16.6 billion to Iran Air. In April 2017, Boeing announced it would sell Iran Aseman Airlines 30 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft for $3 billion, with purchase rights for 30 additional aircraft.
In late May, The Wall Street Journal reported that General Electric was planning to end sales of oil and natural-gas equipment to Iran later this year. A GE spokeswoman asserted, “We are adapting our activities in Iran as necessary to conform with recent changes in U.S. law. GE’s activities in Iran to date have been limited and in compliance with U.S. government rules, licenses and policies.”
As Dr. Emanuele Ottolenshi of The Foundation For Defense of Democracies (FDD) testified in April 2017 before the Testimony for House Financial Services Monetary Policy and Trade, and Terrorism and Illicit Finance Subcommittees:
The administration should suspend licensing for aircraft deals with Iranian commercial carriers while it conducts a thorough review of their role in the airlifts to Syria. The U.S. should proceed to revoke licenses and re-impose sanctions if that role were to be ascertained. But the only way to prevent U.S. manufacturers such as Boeing from supplying aircraft to Iranian entities involved in material support for terrorism is to rely on U.S. non-nuclear sanctions. While the United States cannot stop every plane, it can use sanctions to exact a heavy price on Iran’s aviation sector. …
Since July 2015, Iran Air has signed multi-billion dollar deals with the world’s two largest aircraft manufacturers – Airbus and Boeing – for a reported 180 planes. … Iran’s airlifts provide Hezbollah and the Assad regime with continued access to advanced weaponry and fresh troops to sustain their ongoing engagement in Syria’s civil war. The airlifts are therefore instrumental in facilitating ongoing war crimes and atrocities against the Syrian civilian population.
As Mark Dubowitz, the chief executive of FDD, warned the House Financial Services Committee Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee in July 2016, “Boeing and those banking this deal face a due diligence nightmare. They cannot prevent their planes from being used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), for example, for deadly airlifts to Syria’s Bashar al- Assad and Lebanese Hezbollah.”