US House of Representatives adopted measures on Wednesday to prevent sales of commercial aircraft to Iran, despite warnings from some Democrats that it would undermine the international accord to curtail the country’s nuclear weapons program, according to The Hill.
Rep. Peter Roskam offered two amendments to a 2018 government spending package that would specifically prohibit the use of funds to authorize financial transactions for the sales and prevent the Office of Foreign Assets Control from clearing licenses to allow aircraft sales.
Roskam said that the US should refrain from selling the aircraft to Iran given the country’s history of using commercial aircraft to transport resources, like weapons and troops, to support President Bashar Assad in Syria.
“Until Iran ceases using commercial aircraft to support terrorists and war criminals, western companies ought not be allowed to sell Iranian airliners more aircraft that they can use to fuel Assad’s brutal war,” Roskam said during House floor debate.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer warned that blocking the sales would result in “penalizing American companies for no good purpose” and threaten the nuclear deal with Iran.
“I think being able to maintain our commitments under the agreement with the [Iran nuclear deal] is important. That Iranian nuclear agreement has held and is one of the few bright spots in that region,” Blumenauer said.
Both of Roskam’s amendments were adopted by voice votes. Similar amendments offered by Roskam were also adopted as part of a spending bill last year but did not become law.
The House additionally passed separate legislation last November to block the licenses to finance aircraft sales with Iran, but it never got a vote in the Senate.
Last Modified: 09 14 2017 01:43 PM
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