U.S. grants Airbus, Boeing permission to sell aircraft to Iran
The announcements came as Iranian and U.S. leaders are in New York for the United Nations General Assembly and show that the outgoing administration of President Barack Obama is honoring the economic terms of the nuclear pact.
Airbus announced the license from the U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control early Wednesday. Boeing followed with its own announcement later in the day.
Though based abroad, Airbus needed the approval of the U.S. Treasury for the deal because at least 10 percent of the manufacturer's components are of American origin.
In January, national carrier Iran Air signed agreements to buy 118 planes from Airbus, estimated to be worth some 22.8 billion euros ($25 billion). On Sunday, state TV reported that Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan, a deputy transportation minister, said Iran would cut the number of Airbus planes to 112.
Base model A320s are listed at an average of $98 million, while A330s start at $231.5 million. That puts the value of the approved 17 aircraft in the first license around at least $1.8 billion and possibly much higher based on list prices, though buyers typically negotiate sizable discounts for bulk orders.
Under Boeing's deal, Iran Air will buy 80 aircraft with a total list price of $17.6 billion, with deliveries beginning in 2017 and running until 2025. Iran Air also will lease 29 new Boeing 737s in a deal that Iranian officials have suggested would be worth some $25 billion in total. ■