Under Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration, Mira Ricardel, was quoted in the report as having said in a February 5th news release from the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) that the sanction shows that trade with Iran that defies U.S. export laws and regulations will not be tolerated.
In a statement released by the US Department of Commerce, it was revealed that Turkish national Gulnihal Yegane had established a series of companies that purchased aircraft equipment from US on behalf of Iran’s Mahan Air. The carrier is under sanctions by the United States on charges of “airlifting weapons and military forces to Syria.”
An article by Radio Farda alleged that the jet parts were obtained through the Turkish fronts in the past several years, most recently in December.
The trade action could strengthen the position of those in the Trump administration who oppose the deal between Iran and the aircraft manufacturer Boeing to sell aircraft to an Iranian carrier, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
In 2016, Boeing finalized a $16.6 billion deal with with Iran Air. This deal was viewed as evidence of the normalizing of U.S. relations with Iran following the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and P5+1 — the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council: China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany and the European Union. Commonly known as the nuclear deal, under the JCPOA Tehran agreed to freeze development of its nuclear program in exchange for international sanctions being lifted. Ending the Boeing deal could impact the nuclear agreement.
Iran has been planning to renovate its outdated airline fleet, but an estimated $40 billion in contracts for Boeing and Europe’s Airbus, which relies on U.S. licensing for its own agreement with Iran due to the many U.S.-made parts on its planes, may be impacted as well, according to the WSJ report. Additionally, the WSJ claims that while the U.S. has loosened sanctions again Iran Air, they remain in place against Mahan for over a decade due to its alleged collaboration with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.