Roskam, Rubio Urge Trump to Suspend Boeing Sales to Iran

Apr 10, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C. —U.S. Representative Peter J. Roskam (R-IL) and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) are urging President Donald J. Trump to suspend aircraft sales to Iran. Research from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and American Enterprise Institute have detailed the Islamic Republic’s use of commercial passenger aircraft to supply Iran’s worldwide network of terror proxies, including the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

“We urge you to suspend current and future licenses for aircraft sales to commercial Iranian airlines until your administration conducts a comprehensive review of their role in supporting Iran’s illicit activity… [and] revoke authorizations and re-impose sanctions on Iranian airlines found guilty of such support,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter today.

In January, Rep. Roskam introduced the Terror-Free Skies Act to curb the use of commercial aircraft in support of international terrorism. Senator Rubio introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate.

On Sunday, Sen. Rubio called for the cancellation of Boeing’s Iran deals during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos.

Read the full letter here.

Background

Last April, Rep. Roskam wrote an Op-Ed in The Wall Street Journal urging Western companies not to do business in Iran. “If you wouldn’t do business with Islamic State, you shouldn’t do business with the Islamic Republic,” he wrote. Rep. Roskam spoke with French and European media outlets to warn Airbus not to sell planes to the Iranians.

In May, he joined fellow Illinois Reps. Robert Dold and Randy Hultgren in sending a letter to Boeing’s CEO urging the Chicago-based company not to empower the terror-sponsoring regime. Senior members of the Congressional delegation from Washington state, where Boeing is the largest private employer, crafted another letter of inquiry.

In June, Iranian regime officials announced their intention to buy and lease 109 new Boeing aircraft in a deal worth up to $25 billion, pending approval from the U.S. government. Rep. Roskam and Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling wrote to Boeing once again, asking specific questions to help them assess the national security implications of such a deal. Rep. Roskam wrote an Op-Ed in USA Today detailing his opposition to the misguided, dangerous proposal.

In July, the Financial Services Committee held a hearing on the implications of aircraft sales to Iran. Both Republicans and Democrats spoke out in support of legislation to block or impede the transfer of these militarily-fungible goods to the world’s leading state sponsor or terror.

The House easily passed two amendments authored by Rep. Roskam to block the controversial sales of both Boeing and Airbus aircraft to the Islamic Republic of Iran. The amendments to the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act passed by voice vote, indicating overwhelming, bipartisan support.

In November, the House passed legislation blocking financing for aircraft sales to Iran.