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Iran Says It Will Recover ‘Prepayments With Interest’ If Trump Scuppers the $16.6 Billion Boeing Deal

Iran Air JumboIran Air Jumbo
A Boeing 747-200 of flag carrier Iran Air undergoes repair work in a hangar at Tehran's Mehrabad airport, in this file photo from September 2002. Kaveh Kazemi—Getty Images

Iran’s deputy transport minister Asghar Fakhrieh-Kashan has warned that his country will seek return of “prepayments with interest” if a multibillion-dollar deal to buy dozens of Boeing Co. (BA) jets is thwarted by Donald Trump’s incoming administration.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the announcement could make it harder for Trump to scupper the $16.6 billion deal—one of the first to follow the lifting of sanctions that followed President Obama’s agreement with Iran to curb its nuclear program. Boeing is set to sell 80 aircraft to Iran Air, the country’s flag carrier. Iran is also reportedly working toward a contract with Airbus Group SE (EADSY), the number-two jet maker after Boeing.

“Both sides are committed, and there are scenarios in the contracts for violation of commitments or in case of force majeure to deal with those cases,” the Journal quoted Iran Air Chief Executive Farhad Parvaresh as saying.

The President-elect has criticized Barack Obama’s deal to lift sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs on the country’s nuclear program, and he has also lashed out against Boeing’s plans for two new $4 million Air Force One aircraft.

The jet-maker has an interest in closing the deal with Iran Air before Trump’s inauguration because of an end-of-year deadline for its tightly monitored booking orders, according to the Journal. The sale is being billed as a way to keep aircraft manufacturing jobs in the U.S. and the airline says it will support about 100,000 workers at a time of otherwise low output.

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Iran is expected to make an initial payment of about $226 million to Boeing soon. The purchase of about 200 jets from Boeing and Airbus is reportedly meant to upgrade Iran Air’s fleet, which fell into disrepair under several years of sanctions.

Officials in Tehran said they were confident the purchase would be able to secure financing for the purchase, partly from Iran’s sovereign wealth fund, the Journal reports.