Aircraft manufacturers await OFAC license to enter Iranian market

TEHRAN, Aug. 29 (MNA) – Directors of Brazil’s Embraer S.A. have arrived in Tehran to hold negotiations with Iranian counterpart while OFAC’s permit for aircraft sales to Iran is still pending.

Purchase of new aircraft by Iran has turned into a controversial debate in the aviation industry. Huge contracts with Airbus and Boeing, though not finalized yet, remain as important issues since, upon completion, they could bring about major developments in aviation industry of the region.

One issue hindering conclusion of agreements between Iranian airliners and world manufacturers is the need to obtain necessary permits from Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) as a financial intelligence and enforcement agency of the US Treasury Department charged with planning and execution of economic and trade sanctions in support of US national security and foreign policy objectives.

On the other hand, Iran has entered into negotiations with airplane manufacturers who produce small aircraft with a lower capacity for carrying passengers, mainly useful for domestic flights.

Embraer of Brazil is one of several aerospace companies seeking to sell products to the Islamic Republic of Iran as the company officials have stated “Tehran and Brasilia hold excellent diplomatic relations which can benefit all bilateral issues including renewal of Iran’s aviation fleet.”

The Brazilian company considered the Iranian market as having great potentials since only 15 airplanes are now enjoying scheduled services in the total of 80 airports inside the country while Embraer’s D-AJET aircraft could offer proper services to smaller Iranian provinces.

A report published by the Brazilian company reveals that air transport possesses great opportunities for growth and only small aircraft like the 100-seat E190 are able to connect smaller towns to large cities.

Embraer authorities believe that Iran’s market has room for 150 small-sized aircraft ranging from 70 to 130 seats though selling airplanes to Iran requires a measured approach in order to tackle financial challenges as well as to train crews and mechanics.

Nevertheless, one of the obstacles that still exists in the purchase of aircraft by Iran is OFAC license without which Embraer would even not be able to sell small aircraft to Iran.

Meanwhile, the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) has already confirmed its interest to support sustainable growth of air transportation in Iran by financing the potential deal between the two sides.

By Mehr News Agency