The U.S. withdrawal from a nuclear accord with Iran slams shut what had been a brief opening for historic aircraft sales by Boeing Co. and Airbus SE to the Islamic Republic.
President Donald Trump’s announcement that the U.S would seek to reimpose sanctions left little hope that the planemaking duopolists will be able to consummate $40 billion in aircraft deals struck by Iranian carriers during the brief trade thaw. Both companies’ export licenses to Iran will be revoked, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters.
The plane orders, badly needed to upgrade the Islamic Republic’s museum-vintage airliners, would have had the potential to build Tehran into an aviation hub that could better compete with Dubai and Qatar, the region’s aviation super powers.
They also represent a lost opportunity for Chicago-based Boeing and Toulouse, France-based Airbus. The European planemaker is subject to U.S. export restrictions to Iran because more than 10 percent of the parts on its jets originate with U.S. companies such as United Technologies Corp., Rockwell Collins Inc. and General Electric Co.
Airbus said it will “carefully analyze” the implications of the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic before deciding how to proceed. “This might take some time, ” a spokesman for the company said by email.