Executives from Boeing and AirBus are reportedly traveling to Iran next week to finalize multi-billion dollar deals to sell the Islamic Republic a new fleet of commercial aircraft even as Congress tries to prevent Tehran's continued use of such planes to transport weapons and terrorists, The Washington Free Beacon reported Wednesday.
In recently passed legislation, Congress now requires the U.S. government provide it with an annual report on Iran's use of commercial aircraft for such purposes.
The aircraft deals with Iran have been opposed by many in Congress, and the Trump administration has been reviewing such sales, saying it could decline to grant Boeing the necessary licenses to complete the transaction.
"We need a closer look into how Iran is propping up the murderous [Syrian President Basar al-]Assad regime," said Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., who has spearheaded the new effort.
Under the Iranian nuclear agreement, the United States has the right to revoke any licenses permitting such sales if it is determined Tehran is using the aircraft for criminal purposes.
American officials have emphasized this point to Iran, according to the State Department, saying the Trump administration will not allow such sales to go through if Iran is in violation of the clause.
Iran Air Public Relations Office head Massoumeh Asgharzadeh said the company has ordered 100 airplanes from Airbus and 80 from Boeing, and the result of negotiations will soon be publicized, the Financial Tribune reported.
When Boeing officials were in Tehran in May, they met with Hossein Alaei, a top former Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps member who threatened to blow up American forces in the Persian Gulf. He is currently the CEO of Aseman Airlines, one of the state-controlled airlines with which Boeing is seeking to close a deal.
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