US seeks to seize Iran’s payments for airplanes

TEHRAN, Dec. 17 (MNA) – Deputy Roads Minister Fakhrieh Kashan said the latest decision by the US Congress to monitor aircraft deals with Iran aimed at discouraging financial institutes from conducting business and tracking or freezing Iran’s payments for purchasing planes.

Deputy Minister for International Affairs at the Ministry of Road and Urban Development Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan pointed to a US congressional legislation according to which the US government should first inform the Congress on its financial operations related to sales of aircraft to Iran explaining “as such the issue of banning sales of planes is not on the agenda.”

The official later stated that “the US House of Representatives approved a bill with 252 votes for and 167 against, by which any sales of US-made planes to Iran and its funding should be done under the close watch of Congress. The title of the enactment is Strengthening Oversight of Iran’s Access to Finance Act, the H.R. 4324.”

“In case of being passed into law, the enactment could impact sale of Boeing and Airbus aircraft to Iran, a flagrant violation of the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as JCPOA, as one of the clearest clauses of the deal is devoted to sales of planes to Iran.”

Fakhrieh Kashan clarified that the N-deal stipulates that the US government would issue licenses of selling planes to Iran. “Not only planes but also fragments, after-sales service and relevant technologies should be sold to Iran. Therefore, JCPOA speaks about plane so explicitly that any decision by the US administration will put it in the breach of JCPOA,” he emphasized.

If passed in the Senate, the legislation would become law and irrevocable, granting Iran a right for filing a complaint with the Joint Commission of 5+1 Group against the US, the official continued.

Deputy Iranian roads minister stressed that in case of any problem or ban of sales, Iran will take back the money already paid to Boeing and Airbus.

He underscored that Boeing and Airbus cannot take a decision on banning sales of planes, but in case of blocking the sales, Europeans will certainly take due measures and the US administration cannot violate one of the clauses of the law unilaterally.

On December 15, US lawmakers approved a bill that will bring the sales of American planes to Iran under the close scrutiny of the Congress.

It would require the Treasury Department to report to Congress on Iranian purchases of US aircraft and how those sales would be financed.

The key company that would be the primary target of the bill would be US aviation giant Boeing. In December 2016, Boeing sealed deals with Iran’s flag-carrier airliner Iran Air over sales of 80 jets valued at $16.6 billion. They include 50 narrow-body Boeing 737 passenger jets and 30 wide-body 777 aircraft.

US media reported that the new Congress bill had once again brought into the spotlight the question whether undermining plane sales to Iran would break US commitments under the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Iran Air Company has signed an agreement with US-based Boeing Company to buy 80 planes with a total price tag of $16.6 billion. Meanwhile, Iran Air concluded another deal with Airbus to purchase 100 planes, three of which have been delivered.


News Code 130317


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