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Boeing deal would reverse 1993 decision to sell to Saudis, not Iran

A $17 billion deal by Boeing to sell Iran more than 100 civilian airplanes has major ramifications for US-Iran relations, say American and Iranian analysts.
A Boeing 737 MAX plane is seen during a media tour of the Boeing plant in Renton, Washington December 7, 2015. Orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods surged in April on strong demand for transportation equipment and a range of other products . REUTERS/Matt Mills McKnight/File Photo - RTX2EBUC
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A multibillion-dollar deal by Boeing to sell civilian airliners to Iran would be a major financial, diplomatic and psychological breakthrough between the United States and the Islamic Republic and reverse a decision by the Bill Clinton administration 23 years ago to block such sales and provide planes to Saudi Arabia instead.

Bruce Riedel, a veteran national security official in four US administrations, told Al-Monitor that Boeing and other US aircraft companies were eager to sell to Iran when Clinton came to office in 1993. Riedel said the companies argued that such deals would enhance airline safety and undergird a US diplomatic opening to Iran, the same arguments being used today.

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