October 13, 2006

Major Shift In Iran Relations

It might not seem like a big deal, but parts for civilian airliners have been part of the embargo against Iran for many years. Their civilian fleet has been falling apart, with a high rate of accidents, and has been a sore point with Iranians who have to pay exorbitant prices on the black market.

The Bush administration has now agreed that spare engine parts can be sold to them. They said:

... In talk with reporters, State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said the decision is purely a matter of civil aviation safety and not connected with the difficult U.S.-Iranian political relationship.

He said that absent the repairs, the engine issue could have posed a significant threat to the safe operation of the jetliners and that was something the United States wanted to avoid if at all possible. ...

But really, if this was about civil aviation safety, it would have happened years ago. It's a significant diplomatic gesture to follow so closely on North Korea's nuclear test. Perhaps the Bush administration's small and embattled 'listen to the State Department' faction is making gains. They might have been helped along by the demonstration of Iran's electronic warfare capabilities as run from their Beirut embassy, which included being able to block Israeli anti-missile technology and being able to intercept Israel's communications.

Oh, the guerrilla warfare fun we could all have together. Better perhaps to allow the aboveboard sale of Airbus parts.

Posted by natasha at October 13, 2006 11:00 PM | Iran | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |