Senior House Republicans Have Security Concerns Over Iran Aircraft Licenses

A Boeing 747 of Iran's national airline is seen at Mehrabad International Airport in Tehran / AP

Senior Republicans in the House said Friday they had "grave concern" over the Treasury Department’s announcement earlier this week that it had begun issuing licenses to aircraft manufacturers allowing the sale of passenger jets to Iran.

In a letter to the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which oversees sanctions, Republican Reps. Peter Roskam (Ill.) and Jeb Hensarling (Texas) vowed to fight against Airbus and Boeing aircraft sales to Iran’s national airline, IranAir, Reuters reported.

"There is little evidence indicating that IranAir has indeed stopped transporting weapons, troops, and cash to terrorist groups and rogue regimes," the congressmen wrote.

The two lawmakers hold influential positions in the chamber. Hensarling chairs the House Financial Services Committee while Roskam heads the Ways & Means Committee’s Oversight subcommittee.

Airbus confirmed on Wednesday they had received a U.S. license permitting the European company to begin delivering its first 17 planes to Iran. Boeing announced later in the day it too had secured U.S. permission to ready exports.

Iran has said it needs 400 planes to rebuild its commercial aviation sector following decades of international isolation. Boeing and Airbus have agreed to sell or lease more than 100 aircraft each to IranAir, following last year’s nuclear agreement between Iran, the U.S., and five other world powers.

The Treasure Department has sanctioned IranAir in recent years for helping Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps "transport military related equipment."