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Boeing sells parts to Iran Air for first time since 1979

The sale is part of the wider easing of sanctions by the West, in the wake of last year's nuclear deal
An Iran Air Boeing plane sits on the tarmac in Tehran Airport in 2013 (AFP)

Boeing has sold plane parts to Iran Air, the first time it has done business with the Tehran's national carrier since the 1979 hostage crisis, the US firm reported on Wednesday. 

The sales generated $120,000 in revenue, Boeing said, ending a 35-year break in business between the two air companies prohibited under decades of US sanctions.   

"During the third quarter of 2014, we sold aircraft manuals, drawings, and navigation charts and data to Iran Air," Boeing said in its quarterly report. 

The sales earned Boeing $12,000 in gross profits, according to the report. 

In April, the US government issued a license allowing Boeing, for a "limited period of time," to provide "spare parts that are for safety purposes" to Iran. Boeing is still not allowed to sell new planes to Iran.

The license was granted by the US Treasury Department in the context of an interim deal between world powers and Iran over its nuclear program signed last November.

Boeing said the parts were purchased "consistent with guidance from the US government in connection with ongoing negotiations." 

The US company said more parts could be sold to Iran Air in the future. 

"We may engage in additional sales pursuant to this license," it added. 

Iran Air's fleet includes Boeing airplanes acquired before the 1979 revolution. 

Other US companies have said they want to conduct business with Iran under the sanctions ease, including General Electric, which in February requested permission to sell spare airliner parts to Iran.

Washington severed diplomatic relations with Iran in the aftermath of the 1979 revolution.

The United States and European nations have imposed severe economic sanctions on Iran in recent years aiming to pressure Tehran to dramatically reduce its nuclear programme to keep it from developing nuclear weapons. Iran has steadfastly insisted its nuclear program is for civilian purposes.

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