Mohammad Baqer Nobakht

Iran issues stern warning over passenger planes contracts

FNA- The Iranian government warned the foreign states and companies which have signed contracts to sell passenger planes to Tehran of the country’s reciprocal moves if the other parties defy their undertakings.

“If any measure is taken in violation of the contract to purchase planes, we will reciprocate,” Government Spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht told reporters in his weekly press conference in Tehran on Tuesday.

His remarks came after US Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin announced last week that the department is reviewing licenses for Boeing and Airbus to sell aircraft to Iran, telling lawmakers he would increase sanctions pressure on Iran.

Mnuchin did not elaborate on the review of the licenses, which were issued under a 2015 agreement between Tehran and world powers to lift sanctions in return for curbs on Iran’s nuclear activities.

The review suggests that Trump’s support for Boeing’s defense and jetliner businesses could have political limits.

Iran has said that halting the airplane deals would breach the 2015 nuclear agreement.

For Boeing, losing the Iran Air deal could affect 777 production, since 15 of the wide-body jetliners are included in the first approved batch of Boeing aircraft due for delivery to Iran Air by 2020. Deliveries start in May next year.

Boeing said in December it would cut 777 output by 40% this year under plans that include Iran Air’s still-tentative order.

Iran’s National Flag Carrier, Iran Air, has agreed to buy 200 US and European passenger aircraft worth up to $37 billion at list prices, though such deals typically include big discounts. They include 80 jets from Boeing, 100 from Airbus and 20 turboprops from Franco-Italian ATR.

All the aircraft need US licenses because of their reliance on US parts.

Meantime, Managing Director of Iran Air Farhad Parvaresh announced late in March that the giant aviation company Airbus has delivered the third passenger plane to the country.

“The third Airbus, an A330, landed at Tehran’s Mehrabad airport,” Parvaresh said at the time.

He noted that the A330 plane which has 32 business class and 206 economy class seats is suitable for long-distance flights.