200 accidents later, Boeing,GE to sell spare airplane parts to Iran
Boeing Co, the world's biggest airplane maker, and engine maker General Electric Co said on Friday they had received licenses from the US Treasury Department to export certain spare parts for commercial aircraft to Iran under a temporary sanctions relief deal that began in January.
GE spokesman Rick Kennedy said the Treasury had approved the company's application to service 18 engines sold to Iran in the late 1970s. He said GE officials would meet with officials from Iran flag carrier Iranair and MTU in Istanbul next week to discuss Iran's needs.
Iran says US sanctions have prevented it from renewing its fleet, forcing it to use sub-standard Russian aircraft and to patch up jets that have long since exceed their normal years of service.
Since 1990 Iran has had more than 200 accidents, causing more than 2,000 deaths, according to official news agency IRNA.
A Boeing spokesman said his company received the license this week and would now contact officials in Iran to determine which parts were needed.
He said the license covered only components needed to ensure continued safe flight operations of older Boeing planes sold to Iran before the 1979 revolution, and did not allow any discussions about sales of new aircraft to Iran.
"It's very limited," said the spokesman.