WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday that his department is reviewing licenses for Boeing Co and Airbus to sell aircraft to Iran, telling lawmakers he will increase sanctions pressure on Iran, Syria and North Korea.
“We will use everything within our power to put additional sanctions on Iran, Syria and North Korea to protect American lives,” Mnuchin said in testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee. “I can assure you that’s a big focus of mine and I discuss it with the president.”
He did not elaborate on the review of the aircraft licenses, which are tied to Iran’s compliance with a 2015 agreement with world powers to freeze its nuclear programme.
IranAir has agreed to buy a total of 200 U.S. and European passenger aircraft worth a total of $35 billion - $37 billion at list prices, though such deals typically include big discounts.
They include 80 passenger jets from Boeing, 100 from its European rival Airbus and 20 turboprop planes from Franco-Italian supplier ATR. All of the aircraft need U.S. export licenses.
(This version of the story corrects third paragraph to read “nuclear programme” instead of “nuclear weapons development”)
Reporting by David Lawder in Washington and Tim Hepher in Paris; editing by Grant McCool and Cynthia Osterman