By RICHARD LARDNER
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-led House approved measures aimed at blocking U.S. companies from selling commercial passenger aircraft to Tehran.
By voice vote July 7, a week before the one-year anniversary of the Iran nuclear deal, lawmakers passed two amendments directed at Chicago-based Boeing, which had offered Iranian airlines three models of new aircraft to replace the country’s aging fleet.
The amendment was added to a financial services spending bill that the House cleared by vote of 239-185. The House must reconcile differences between its bill and the Senate’s version. The Obama administration is certain to threaten to veto any legislation that undermines the nuclear agreement with Iran.
Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., the amendment’s sponsor, said the aircraft could be used by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
“To give these types of planes to the Iranian regime, which still is the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, is to give them a product that can be used for a military purpose,” Roskam said. The Boeing aircraft could be reconfigured to carry 100 ballistic missiles or 15,000 rocket-propelled grenades, according to Roskam.
The United States, Iran and other world powers reached the landmark nuclear agreement on July 14, 2015. The deal ended international economic sanctions against Tehran, allowing airline manufacturers to re-enter the market.
Rep. Jose Serrano, D-N.Y., opposed Roskam’s measure, saying it was part of a broader Republican strategy to make the nuclear agreement and the Obama administration look bad.
Although Roskam is from Illinois, where Boeing is headquartered, the airplanes the commercial aviation giant proposed selling to Tehran are built in Washington state.