Boeing receives U.S. license to sell jetliners to Iran, ending ban


Airbus expects the USA government to approve the sale of the remaining 101 planes in the next few weeks, Airbus spokesperson Justin Dubon told CNNMoney.

Wednesday's announcement by Airbus will be closely watched by Chicago-based Boeing Co., which also inked a memorandum of agreement with Iran in June.

Airbus's USA rival Boeing also has a tentative deal with Iran Air, which the airline and people familiar with the order said could be worth $25 billion.

The Airbus deal was initially valued at $25 billion (22.4 billion euros) but Iranian officials say it is worth nearer $10 billion.

"I don't have a lot of concern with that because there's a range of ways in which planes themselves are monitored in their movements, between transponder information and plain old tail numbers", said Richard Nephew, a former principal deputy coordinator for sanctions policy at the State Department.

The A320s list for $98 million each, and the A330-200s start at $231 million, but manufacturers often discount those prices.

In addition, the agreement expressed Boeing's intent to help Iran Air find an additional 29 new 737NG aircraft from leasing companies, bring the total plans involved in the deal to 109. "We have received that license and remain in talks with Iran Air based on the MOA", said the Boeing statement.

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"Airbus applied for two licences and the first one was granted yesterday night", an Airbus spokesman said.

Treasury Dept. says licenses contain "strict conditions" to ensure planes are reserved for commercial passenger use.

Iran's United Nations mission did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Iran's nuclear deal with world powers, which limits its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of some global sanctions, specifically allowed for the purchase of aircraft and parts. Some of the plane-related trade restrictions predated a disagreement between western powers over the country's nuclear program and were imposed in the wake of Iran's revolution in 1979. The country has 250 commercial planes, but as of June only 162 were flying because the rest needed new parts.

Iran Air, whose website lists 43 airplanes in its fleet, says it has direct flights to over 30 worldwide destinations, including London.

The legislation sought to block the Treasury Department from licensing the sales and to prevent loans from USA institutions to finance the deals.