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Boeing Seals Nearly $17 Billion Iran Deal

Boeing Co. clinched a deal to sell 80 jetliners to Iran, completing the first major agreement between a U.S. company and the Islamic Republic, just as the political winds are changing.

 

Planned aircraft sales by Chicago-based Boeing and European rival Airbus Group SE to Iranian carrier Iran Air are among the most high-profile transactions signed since Iran and Western powers concluded a nuclear accord that removed sanctions on Tehran. U.S. officials cleared the way for Airbus and Boeing to start contract talks in September.

 

Now, Western executives are trying to figure out whether President-elect Donald Trump will step in to slow, or stop, the tentative approaches many companies have already made.

 

The Boeing deal was first announced in June and officially sealed between Boeing and Iran on Sunday. It is valued at $16.6 billion, based on the company’s list price, which doesn’t include typical discounts. Airbus has a similar deal for jet sales to Iran pending.

 

The timing of the final announcement is awkward, given how the aerospace giant’s relations with the president-elect were strained last week when he criticized the potential cost of replacing the jets that serve as Air Force One. A Boeing spokesman declined to comment on whether it informed the incoming administration about the progress of the Iran sale, but the company said in a written statement that the deal has the potential to sustain thousands of U.S. jobs. It has also said it will work with Mr. Trump on the cost of the Air Force One deal.

 

Boeing’s Iran Air sales, because they involve a state-owned airline, require approval from the U.S. Treasury, State Department and Congress mainly linked to any potential financing arrangements, said people familiar with the sales process. This presents new potential obstacles to any transaction should Mr. Trump, an outspoken critic of the Iran deal, oppose these kinds of commercial openings with Iran.

 

Go to the Wall Street Journal to read more about the deal.