Iran Aseman tentatively signs for 30 737 Max aircraft

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TEHRAN, Iran - Boeing Co. has signed a $3 billion deal with an Iranian airline for 30 new aircraft, officials said Tuesday, in the first major sale by a US company in the Islamic Republic since the Trump administration imposed new sanctions against Tehran.

The agreement involves the purchase of 30 Boeing 737 MAX planes as well as the "purchase rights" for an additional 30 planes of the same class, according to the report.

Boeing has received authorization from the USA government to negotiate the agreement with the airline after the determination that Iran had met its obligations under the nuclear accord signed in 2015.

The new deal with Aseman will also need approval from the US Office of Foreign Assets Control. "To a certain extent they are imposing a level of conflict on Republicans, because they are going to have to balance manufacturing jobs to export markets with getting tough on Iran".

Boeing shares rose 0.8 percent to $178.07 at 2:02 p.m.in NY.

The document was signed on March 18, during a meeting with Boeing representatives in Tehran, Aseman told the Financial Tribune on Tuesday.

Uncertainty over Mr. Trump's stance on Iran has overshadowed decision making by US and other Western executives who have considered business in Iran. Boeing described the deal as a "memorandum of agreement".

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Tuesday's announcement is part of the nuclear agreement between Iran and other world powers.

Meanwhile supporters on both sides have tried to emphasise the employment opportunities, noting the deal would provide thousands of jobs to Iran's unemployed, with Iran's Civil Aviation Organisation specifying it would create 20,000 direct jobs, and thousands more indirectly.

Under the proposed deal, Aseman Airlines would receive the planes in 2022.

Trump has said he opposes the nuclear sanctions pact, but has not explicitly stated a view on the aircraft deals reached under the accord, which the USA aerospace industry says would protect thousands of jobs. The Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran removed some US economic sanctions in exchange for Iran agreeing to curb its development of nuclear technology. This builds on Boeing's $16.6 billion deal with Iran Air back in December of 2016.

Aseman is Iran's third-largest carrier based on active fleet size, according to CAPA consultancy via Reuters.

Aseman Airlines late past year was placed on the European Union's so called aviation safety blacklist because of "deficiencies".

Aerospace analysts said that together, Boeing's deals with Iran amount to a test of the Trump administration's priorities. Boeing has agreed to sell 80 aircraft to flag carrier IranAir under the contract. Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg reached out to the President and has since developed closer ties. Those would be targeted against people involved with Iran's ballistic missile program and those that transact with them, as well as the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. From 1995 to 2014, the US sacrificed between $203.1 and $271.8 billion in potential export revenues to Iran.

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