Iran and U.S. fly the friendly skies

The United States is breaking its own sanctions by agreeing to provide spare parts and maintenance work to Iranian airplanes in an unidentified third country. The timing of the policy change, especially because it’s during a U.S.-led push for further sanctions on Iran, is unclear—Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency speculates that it is either to entice ...

The United States is breaking its own sanctions by agreeing to provide spare parts and maintenance work to Iranian airplanes in an unidentified third country. The timing of the policy change, especially because it's during a U.S.-led push for further sanctions on Iran, is unclear—Iran's Islamic Republic News Agency speculates that it is either to entice the Iranians away from their uranium enrichment program or (oddly) to help the struggling Republicans in the upcoming elections. But it may be that the motivation is humanitarian. The airplanes in Iran's fleet are on average 16-years-old and accidents are common, according to the International Herald-Tribune. Thirty people died in a crash in September. 

The Iranian government is downplaying the change in U.S. policy. "This sort of activity will not improve the U.S. image in the minds of Iranian people," said Iranian state-run radio in a broadcast following the announcement of the new policy. Mohammad Rahmati, the minister of roads and transportation, characterized the decision as a rational change to an inhumane policy. Looks like the U.S. is giving the carrot (rather than the stick) another try.

The United States is breaking its own sanctions by agreeing to provide spare parts and maintenance work to Iranian airplanes in an unidentified third country. The timing of the policy change, especially because it’s during a U.S.-led push for further sanctions on Iran, is unclear—Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency speculates that it is either to entice the Iranians away from their uranium enrichment program or (oddly) to help the struggling Republicans in the upcoming elections. But it may be that the motivation is humanitarian. The airplanes in Iran’s fleet are on average 16-years-old and accidents are common, according to the International Herald-Tribune. Thirty people died in a crash in September. 

The Iranian government is downplaying the change in U.S. policy. “This sort of activity will not improve the U.S. image in the minds of Iranian people,” said Iranian state-run radio in a broadcast following the announcement of the new policy. Mohammad Rahmati, the minister of roads and transportation, characterized the decision as a rational change to an inhumane policy. Looks like the U.S. is giving the carrot (rather than the stick) another try.

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