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Hensarling: Administration Approval of Commercial Aircraft Sales to Iran Outrageous


Washington, Sep 21 -

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) made the following comments upon news that the U.S. Treasury Department approved licenses that allow companies to sell commercial aircraft to Iran Air – the state owned national carrier of Iran.

“It baffles me how this administration could declare Iran the ‘world’s foremost sponsor of state terrorism’ and label it a ‘jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern,’ and then turn around and approve the sale of airplanes to the regime’s state-owned national air carrier. This is the very same airline that has been sanctioned by the Treasury Department for transporting fighters and weapons of war on behalf of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and that, as recently as two months ago, flew known weapons resupply routes to Syria – not just once, but three times. Now, that same Treasury Department is greenlighting the sale of aircraft. Allowing the export of military fungible aircraft to the world’s foremost state sponsor of terror is a mistake, and the American people should be outraged.”

In July, the House Financial Services Committee considered three bills aimed at preventing the sale of commercial passenger aircraft to Iran. All three bills, detailed below, passed the committee with bipartisan support.

H.R. 5729 would prohibit the secretary of the Treasury from issuing certain licenses in connection with the export or re-export of a commercial passenger aircraft to the Islamic Republic of Iran, and require annual reports by the Secretary of the Treasury and the Export-Import Bank on financing issues related to the sale or lease of such a commercial passenger aircraft or spare parts for such aircraft.

This bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Robert Pitttenger (R-NC), passed the committee 33-21.

H.R.5711 – would prohibit the Secretary of the Treasury from authorizing certain transactions by a U.S. financial institution in connection with the export or re-export of a commercial passenger aircraft to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

This bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI), passed the committee 33-21.

H.R.5715 – would make permanent a direct financing prohibition for Ex-Im assistance to the government of Iran, prohibit indirect Ex-Im financing for Iran, and stop any Ex-Im financing if the Bank discovers that its support has been used to facilitate the export or re-export of aircraft to Iran.

This bill, which was sponsored Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) and co-sponsored by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), passed the committee 32-21.