Boeing inks $3 billion deal to sell at least 30 commercial jets to Iran's Aseman Airlines

The first Boeing 737 MAX 9 airliner is pictured at the company's factory on March 7, 2017 in Renton, Washington. The 737 MAX 9, which can carry up to 220 passengers, is the second of three variants of the popular single-aisle model.
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Boeing signed commercial aircraft deal valued at $3 billion to sell at least 30 jetliners to Iran's Aseman Airlines.

In a statement, the company said it signed a "memorandum of agreement" with Aseman Airlines, which plans to buy 30 Boeing 737 MAX narrow-body jetliners. The Iranian carrier also has the purchase rights to buy an additional 30 Boeing jets.

In December, Boeing announced an agreement for Iran Air, the country's flag carrier, to buy 50 of its narrow-body 737 passenger jets and 30 of the wide-body 777 aircraft. The earlier deal was valued at $16.6 billion, based on list prices for the planes.

Financing details on the latest airplane agreement were not disclosed.

Iran's aging fleet of passenger jets is among the oldest in the world due to commercial and financial sanctions that were in place for decades. For example, the average age of major Iranian carrier planes now exceeds 20 years and Tehran and been looking to Airbus, Boeing and other airplane manufacturers to modernize its fleet.

Boeing said deliveries on the Aseman transaction are expected to begin in 2022; however, Iran's Tasnin news agency reported that the delivery of the first plane would occur in 2019.

Boeing said in its release Tuesday that the new Iran agreement "creates or sustains approximately 18,000 jobs in the United States."

According to Boeing, the deal was negotiated "under authorizations from the U.S. government following a determination that Iran had met its obligations under the nuclear accord signed in 2015."

A winning Boeing bet

The manufacturer said the deal still required approval from the Office of Foreign Assets Control, an agency of the U.S. Treasury Department that administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions. The deal with Iran Air was approved by the U.S. agency during the Obama administration.

In early trading Tuesday, Boeing's stock was up $1.67, or nearly 1 percent, to $178.36. The stock has soared more than 40 percent in the past year, making it one of the top-five stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average during this period.