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‘Weaponizing’ regime? Lawmakers raise red flags on Boeing-Iran jet deal

Top House Republicans are raising red flags about Boeing’s potential sale of roughly 100 commercial jets to Iran, warning it could end up benefiting Iran’s military, as well as terror groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah.

While the talks have not drawn objections from the Obama administration, Reps. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., and Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, fired off a letter Thursday raising concerns about Tehran’s history of using commercial planes to support “hostile actors.” 

“We strongly oppose the potential sale of military-fungible products to terrorism’s central supplier. American companies should not be complicit in weaponizing the Iranian Regime,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg. 

Whether Iran could or would use the aircraft for such purposes is unclear but the letter, obtained by FoxNews.com, seeks more information about the national security implications of the pending deal — as well as the status of negotiations. 

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday a tentative agreement had been reached between the American aviation giant and Iran for about 100 jets. Iranian Transport Minister Abbas Akhoundi also said an agreement was close and would be announced “in the coming days.” One source told The Washington Post the deal could be worth more than $17 billion. 

If agreed, the deal would be one of the most significant since the easing of trade sanctions on the country in January as part of the Iran nuclear deal signed last year.

But Roskam and Hensarling reminded Boeing in their letter that the State Department recently branded the country “the foremost state sponsor of terrorism.” They note Iran’s commercial aircraft are commonly used for military purposes and to back terrorist groups.

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