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Boeing Wins $3 Billion Iran Aircraft for Sale in Potential Test for Trump

Boeing Co. landed its second jetliner sale to an Iranian airline since the 1970s, a $3 billion deal that sets up a test of the planemaker’s ties with President Donald Trump.

The pact with Iran Aseman Airlines to purchase 30 of Boeing’s 737 Max planes adds to a separate $16.6 billion agreement with Iran Air, which the Chicago-based manufacturer is still finalizing. If completed, the transactions would be the first U.S. aircraft exports to Iran since the Shah era. He latest jet transaction puts Trump's policy of promoting U.S. manufacturing works in conflict with the administration's vow to take a tougher stance on the Islamic Republic. If the White House thwarts, Boeing's dealmaking, it also risks, Richard Aboulafia, said aerospace consultant Richard Aboulafia.
Boeing may be "setting themselves up for conflict with the Trump administration or Republicans in general," said Aboulafia, vice president at Teal Group. "To a certain extent they are imposing a level of conflict on Republicans. It's tough to thread that needle. "
Boeing shares rose 0.8 percent to $ 178.07 at 2:02 pm in New York. The gain was the third largest among the 30 members of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Iran Debate
Airbus and Boeing have been making inroads in Iran since the Obama administration and other world powers. Whether the U.S. manufacturer closes the transactions is far from certain, given the hostility by hard-liners in Iran and some Republicans in Congress.
"It's concerning," Senator Marco Rubio told reporters in the Capitol when asked about the deal. Asked if he could or could not do anything to block it, the Florida Republican said, "Maybe."
Financing the multibillion-dollar purchases also will be a challenge given by the restrictions still in place on lenders doing business with Iranian companies, Aboulafia said. Aircraft lessors may be hesitant to provide financing if Iranian carriers defaulted.
While Iran wants to upgrade its museum-vintage fleet because of safety concerns, it is not easy to get to the heart of the Middle East.
"If you add it all up, Iran needs nothing like the number of jetliners they are committing to. It's not clear they can afford them either, "Aboulafia said.
U.S. Jobs
The Iran Aseman deal, announced in a statement Tuesday on Boeing's website, provides the airline with an option to buy 30 additional 737 Max planes. Deliveries of the single-aisle jet are scheduled to start in 2022. The value is based on list prices, which are usually heavily discounted.
A sale of that size would create or sustain about 18,000 U.S. jobs, Boeing said, citing Commerce Department calculations. The company said it would seek a purchase approval from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control.
Senator Ben Cardin, a Democrat from Maryland who is the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said there is little Congress. That was echoed by Senator John McCain, a Republican from Arizona who had a leading voice against the nuclear deal.
No Involvement
"I have an objection to the Iranian agreement and what they've done is completely legal," McCain said. "They've got the money and it's not a weapon system, so it does not require any involvement from the Congress."
The purchase would help modernize Iran Aseman's fleet after the carrier in December was banned by the European Union for "unaddressed deficiencies." The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, has maintained a blacklist of airlines since 2006 To seek a uniform safety.
The Iranian carrier operates 33 planes, including two Boeing 737s and five Boeing 727s, according to its website. Almost half of the fleet consists of Fokker 100 aircraft. The Airbus planes.
Airbus Rivalry
Boeing's December agreement with Iran Air was the first of its kind since the Islamic Revolution. The company's last airplane deliveries to Iran were 747 jumbos that arrived in 1977, according to the company's website.
While Boeing and Iran's flag carrier are still working out the final terms for deliveries that would begin next year, Airbus has delivered the first aircraft for its separate $ 19 billion sale.
"The contractual agreement we signed late last year had contingencies on it that are still being worked," Tim Neale, a Boeing spokesman, said by email.
On the campaign trail, Trump attacked a planned center to paint Boeing 737s in China and later blasted the contract for the Air Force One presidential aircraft as too costly. Subsequent meetings with Boeing Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg brought a significant thaw.
Trump in February, the rollout of a new Boeing jet in a car factory in South Carolina, extolling the "beautiful" carbon-composite 787-10 and praising the CEO as "a very, very tough negoti  And at least a dozen other Republican and Democratic senators introduced a bill last month that seeks to expand sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile development, support for terrorism and human rights violations, according to a statement. Those would be targeted against the people involved with Iran's ballistic missile program and those that transacted with them, as well as the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The Republicans in Congress strongly opposed the 2015 agreement between the U.S. and the five other nations, including Russia, designed to stop Tehran from developing nuclear weapons. Iran agreed to redesign and reduce its nuclear facilities.
Trump campaign against the American interest and security. He said during a series of election rallies that he would tear it up and renegotiate it, but he had not yet taken public steps to scrap the accord.




by Julie Johnsson , Terrence Dopp , and Rick Clough

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