Boeing Co. said Tuesday it has signed a new, $3 billion deal with Iran's Aseman Airlines to supply 30 737 MAX aircraft to the carrier, the first major sale by a U.S. company to Iran under new President Donald Trump. The new agreement comes on top of the $16.6 billion sale Boeing previously made in Iran following the landmark nuclear deal struck with Tehran under the Obama administration. Trump long has criticized the atomic deal, though he toured a Boeing plant in February and touted the firm's work as proof of a coming American manufacturing renaissance. Chicago-based Boeing said the deal also includes purchase rights for an additional 30 737 MAX aircraft for Tehran-based Aseman, which flies domestic and international routes. It said the first deliveries of the single-aisle aircraft to Aseman would start in 2022. Boeing lists 3,621 unfilled orders for the 737 MAX aircraft, which undergo final assembly in Renton, Washington. The first is expected to be delivered to Norwegian Air Shuttle in May.
"According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, an aerospace sale of this magnitude creates or sustains approximately 18,000 jobs in the United States," Boeing said in a statement. "Boeing continues to follow the lead of the U.S. government with regards to working with Iran's airlines, and any and all contracts with Iran's airlines are contingent upon U.S. government approval."
Aseman spokesman Amir Reza Mostafavi told The Associated Press that the deal came following several round of talks over the past year between the airline and Boeing. He said the firms signed the deal March 18 and the first aircraft will be delivered in 2019, contradicting Boeing. The European Union blacklisted Aseman from European skies in December because of safety concerns. The airline did not operate flights to European destinations at the time.