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[NEW YORK] Boeing Co agreed to sell 30 jetliners to an Iranian airline valued at US$3 billion, the second deal in the country in four months and a potential test for US President Donald Trump.
The Chicago-based company reached a deal in December to sell US$16.6 billion in planes to Iran Air, the first pact of its kind since 1979. The agreements come after most international sanctions on Iran were lifted as part of its nuclear deal with world powers. Trump has criticized that arrangement but also has lauded Boeing as an important creator of US manufacturing jobs.
Iran Aseman Airlines signed an agreement with the intent to purchase 30 737 MAX planes, Boeing said in a statement on its website Tuesday. The value is based on list prices, which typically are discounted for large orders. The deal provides the airline with an option to buy 30 additional 737 MAXs. Deliveries of the single-aisle jet are scheduled to start in 2022.
A sale of this size would create or sustain about 18,000 US jobs, Boeing said, citing Commerce Department calculations. The company said it would seek purchase approval from the US Office of Foreign Assets Control.
The December agreement was the first of its kind since the Islamic Revolution, according to Iran's Ministry for Roads and Urban Development. Boeing's last airplane deliveries to Iran were 747 jumbos that arrived in 1977, according to the company's website.
On the campaign trail, Mr Trump attacked a planned center to paint Boeing 737s in China and blasted the contract for Air Force One presidential jet as too costly. Subsequent meetings with Boeing Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg brought a significant thaw. Mr Trump in February attended the rollout of a new Boeing jet from a factory in South Carolina, extolling the "beautiful" carbon-composite 787-10 and praising the CEO as "a very, very tough negotiator."