Iran will receive its first Boeing airplane within a month, according to an Iranian official, well ahead of the scheduled delivery date for the first commercial airplane sale to Iran.
Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan, deputy minister of roads and urban planning for the Iranian government, said Boeing will deliver a 777 airplane that Turkey ordered, but no longer wants, the New York Times reports.
Iran Air currently flies planes that are decades old, and is desperate to update its fleet. Kashan said the unwanted plane ordered by Turkey fits what Iran Air needed, and since it’s a new plane, it made sense to have it rerouted to Iran as Boeing’s first delivery.
Under a pending deal made possible by former President Barack Obama’s signature 2015 accord that lifted sanctions on Iran, Boeing plans to deliver 80 passenger planes worth $16.6 billion to Iran Air, the main airline in the country.
Boeing is not obligated to deliver planes to Iran Air until 2018. “However, our order matched this Boeing model and it is a propitious time to receive one,” Kashan said, according to Iran’s Mehr News Agency. If confirmed, the delivery of the 777 would be the first Boeing plane to land in Tehran since 1979.
Boeing did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
Boeing has a separate deal in the works to provide 30 of Boeing’s 737 MAX 9 planes to Iran Aseman Airlines. (RELATED: Boeing Inks $3 Billion Deal To Sell Airplanes To Iran)
The U.S. Department of the Treasury approved the sale of Boeing planes to Iran Air in September, but many lawmakers have criticized the deal over concerns that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) would repurpose the civilian planes to commit acts of terrorism. (RELATED: Congressmen Warn Iran Will Turn Commercial Jets Into ‘Warplanes’)
Congress can still block the deal through legislation, and Illinois Republican Rep. Peter Roskam has promised to work to block the deal. “Congress will have a lot to say, particularly working in concert with an administration that has a fairly low view of this deal,” Roskam told USA Today in December.
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