Any potential thaw in U.S.-Iran relations is unlikely to relax long-standing economic sanctions that have hobbled the latter’s commercial and defense aviation sectors for decades. Most recently, United Nations’ Resolution 1696, in force since 2006 and in response to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, has limited Iran’s ability to obtain approved spare and replacement aircraft components and to conduct international financial transactions.
Politics of Iran
Western aerospace executives may be wary about attending the Iran airshow, but will be missing out on a great future business opportunity if they don’t go, according to the event’s organizers. The show is scheduled from November 28 to December 1 at the Kish Island Free Trade Zone–located close to Dubai and one of the main trading links between Iran and its neighbors in the Gulf.
Over the last four years, U.S. agencies have opened 17 major cases involving illegal shipments of defense technology to Iran– two more than the 15 cases involving illegal shipments to China in the same time frame. And in the last six years there have been more than 800 investigations of illegal exports to Iran.
An Iranian-military Falcon 20 crashed after making a forced landing on a road in Orumiyeh, Iran, last month, killing all 11 aboard, including high-ranking officials in Iran’s revolutionary guard corps. A spokesman for the revolutionary guard blamed bad weather and engine failure for the accident. One report said the aircraft ran out of fuel as the crew was troubleshooting a problem.