By Russ Read
Rep. Peter Roskam sent a letter to Boeing Monday imploring the aviation company to not sell Iran commercial jet liners which could be turned into “warplanes.”
Joined by Illinois Reps. Bob Dold and Randy Hultgren, Roskam wrote to CEO Dennis Muilenburg asking the company to halt sales to the Islamic Republic due to concerns the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) will use commercial airliners to support terrorism across the globe.
“The greatest beneficiaries of any potential aircraft sale to Iran would be the Islamic State’s despotic leaders,” said the letter. “We urge you not to be complicit in the likely conversion of Boeing aircraft to IRGC warplanes.”
The IRGC’s influence in the Iranian economy is nothing short of dominant. Industries ranging from finance to telecommunications have ties to the IRGC, many are led by IRGC veterans. Dominance of the economy allows the IRGC leadership to finance nefarious operations across the Middle East, including the support of terrorist organizations like the Lebanese Hezbollah.
Of particular concern to the congressmen is Boeing’s potential sale of aircraft to Iran Air, Iran’s primary carrier over which the IRGC holds majority share. The letter notes Iran Air jets have been known to transport IRGC personnel, weapons and currency, which caused the U.S. Department of the Treasury to sanction the company. Those sanctions were removed after the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known as the Iran nuclear deal, last July.
“The Islamic Republic is not simply an emerging market for Boeing,” wrote the congressmen. “It is a radical regime dominated by zealots who seek nothing less than the destruction of the United States and the shared democratic principles of the Western world.”
In an effort to prevent money from flowing into Iran, Roskam, joined by Rep. Jackie Walorski, introduced a bill Friday which would require companies wishing to do business with the Department of Defense to prove they are not engaged in business with Iranian entities listed by the Treasury Department.