Adam Shaw Fox News on December 13, that Reps. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., and Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, sent a letter to Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing CEO, warning the deal could weaponize the regime. “The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) systematically uses commercial aircraft to transport troops, weapons, military-related parts, rockets and missiles to hostile actors around the world,” they wrote. “… These terrorist groups and rogue regimes have American blood on their hands. Your potential customers do as well.”
Lawmakers showed no sign of budging, even after Sunday’s announcement, and a senior aide to Roskam told FoxNews.com that he intends to “aggressively fight” the deal in the next Congress. Their hope is that the policy will shift in their favor once President-elect Donald Trump takes office. The aide said, “The incoming appointees at Treasury and State will no longer report to a White House willing to bend over backward and ignore national security concerns to keep Iran from walking away from the nuclear deal.”
Hensarling, while calling the deal “disappointing to say the least”, placed blame on President Obama. “The President wants us to sell planes not just to this dangerous regime, but to an airline that his own Treasury Department sanctioned in 2011. President Obama even wants U.S. banks to draw on American citizens’ deposits to finance Iran, a regime that Treasury calls ‘a jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern.’ If a U.S. financial institution attempts to bankroll Iran in the waning days of the Obama administration, it will have to answer to Congress,” he warned.
Hensarling is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and Roskam heads the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight.
The House already has passed measures, including a bill in November prohibiting the Treasury Department from financing aircraft sales to Iran, but the bill has not yet gone to the Senate. It will almost certainly be vetoed by President Obama if it passes. On the other hand, it is not clear what President-elect Trump will do with this legislation. He has not yet commented on the Iran Air deal.
While Trump has been a critic of the Iran nuclear agreement, he also advocates for American manufacturing jobs, and has reached out to both Ford and Carrier among other companies in an effort to keep jobs in the U.S. Which is why, in its announcement, Boeing framed the deal as one that would support American jobs.
“Today’s agreement will support tens of thousands of U.S. jobs directly associated with production and delivery of the 777-300ERs and nearly 100,000 U.S. jobs in the U.S. aerospace value stream for the full course of deliveries,” Boeing said, noting that it currently supports more than 1.5 million American jobs.
Some lawmakers backed the deal because is will create jobs for American workers. “This deal is good news for Washington state and will help support the thousands of good-paying jobs in my district that rely on trade and Boeing’s ability to compete in the global marketplace.” Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., said in a statement.
Trump has already had issues with Boeing, and tweeted that he wants to cancel an order with the company for a new Air Force One, saying the costs are “out of control,” earlier this month.
The removal of trade sanctions on Iran as part of the nuclear deal last January made the Boeing deal possible. The first planes are set to be delivered to Iran in 2018.