A trio of House lawmakers is pressing the Boeing Company to refrain from selling aircraft, parts or related services to Iran, citing the country’s links to terror financing.
In a letter to Boeing’s chief executive officer Dennis Muilenburg this week, the Illinois Republicans blasted the Chicago-based company for reportedly considering a business deal with Tehran.
“Such commercial transactions would effectively subsidize the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, significantly augmenting the regime’s ability to sow the seeds of death and destruction around the globe,” the lawmakers wrote.
The letter is signed by Illinois Republican Reps. Peter Roskam, Robert Dold and Randy Hultgren.
An international deal, which went into effect earlier this year and lifted nuclear sanctions on Iran, allows commercial aircraft to be sold to that country. The lawmakers claim the provision was included at the behest of Tehran, which has a majority ownership stake in Iran Air.
Iran has been eager to modernize its aging aircraft fleet and normalize trade relations.
Boeing said in April that it began preliminary discussions in Tehran with Iranian airlines about potentially selling its planes and aircraft services, according to the Wall Street Journal.
But the lawmakers warned that Iran Air has used its planes to supply weapons, troops and cash on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and urged Boeing “not to be complicit in the likely conversion of Boeing aircraft to IRGC warplanes.”
“This is not about doing what is legal – it is about doing what is right,” the letter said.
The lawmakers added that they are exploring legislative options to emphasize the risks and repercussions of a deal they say places profits over safety.