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Demise of Iran nuclear deal kills hopes for Boeing order

The US government’s withdrawal from a deal to limit Iran’s ability to obtain nuclear weapons puts an end to a nearly two-year old plan by Iran to acquire or lease 117 Boeing aircraft.

President Donald Trump announced on 8 May plans to withdraw the USA from a “disastrous deal” called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which the Obama Administration signed with Iran and four other countries in October 2015.

The deal was designed to limit Iran’s ability to acquire nuclear weapons within the next decade, but Trump won election in 2016 partly by campaigning against the terms of the JCPOA.

“We cannot prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb under the decaying and rotten structure of the current agreement,” Trump said during a speech in the White House on 8 May.

The JCPOA removed sanctions that prevented Iranian airlines from purchasing aircraft sold by US-based manufacturers.

In June 2016, Iran Air signed a deal with Boeing to buy 80 commercial aircraft, including 15 777s, and lease 37 more 737s. The deal was valued at $17.6 billion. Deliveries originally were set to begin in 2017, but were deferred to this year.

In late April, Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg said his company was following the lead of the US government’s policies towards trade with Iran.

“We've ensured that from a skyline management standpoint and from a production systems standpoint, we are not dependent on those aircraft,” Muilenburg said during a first quarter earnings call on 25 April.

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