Selling them the aircraft parts to bomb us

Over 100 years ago Vladimir Lenin, the first leader of the Soviet Union, predicted "the capitalists will sell us the rope which we will use to hang them."  That insight into the thinking of immoral leaders when dealing with essentially moral and/or naive counterparts sprang to mind when I read in Asharq Al-Awsat,  an Arab paper published in London,

US Treasury approves sale of aircraft parts to Tehran

A spokesman for US-based Boeing said Friday that it had received approval to sell aircraft parts to Iran, as part of the partial easing of US sanctions against the Islamic Republic agreed in the interim nuclear deal last November.

The spokesman, representing the world’s largest aircraft company, said Boeing had been issued a license by the US Treasury department to sell parts needed to ensure the safety of the aircraft. (snip)

The last plane Boeing sold to the country, a 747-100, was delivered three months before the 1979 hostage crisis that resulted in the first round of US sanctions, and it has not done any acknowledged business with the country since. Most commercial aircraft have a service life equal to about 25 years with proper maintenance.

As a result, Iranair has one of the poorest safety records of any flag carrier worldwide, with more than 200 accidents causing over 2,000 deaths being reported since 1990 according to state news agency IRNA. In 2010, two-thirds of Iranair’s fleet was banned from flying to the European Union due to safety concerns.

If a permanent nuclear deal is reached, resulting in the complete lifting of the sanctions, analysts expect Iran would need to order hundreds of aircraft. Expert-level talks to reach a permanent deal recommenced in Vienna Friday.

All of this new commercial activity with Iran is, of course, the result of President Barack Obama's (D) administration's wishful thinking that reducing sanctions will so charm Iran that they will return the love to the US and, as the cliché has it, we'll all end up holding hands, sing kumbayah and peace will reign upon the two lands and their nuclear weapons will turn into food for all.  Uh, no.  

Yes, commerce between friends, or even those not avowed enemies, does make hostilities more difficult.  But not impossible. So while the US does express a public neediness of "Like me, oh please like me and let's all be friends" Iran doesn't operate from the same emotional or strategic arena.  Obtaining these airplane parts, even if they are for commercial, rather than military, aircraft is bound to be interpreted by Iran as a triumph of its negotiating skills, a validation of their superiority and the rightness of their cause compared to the US.  

With this pubic validation the Iranians should have minimal difficulty purchasing parts for their military planes, especially from the Europeans who are already dealing with them.  

And when the Iranians violate their end of the agreement, their extraordinarily skilled negotiators--and make no mistake, they are extremely skilled at this--will have no trouble making wrong look right and the US wrong.   And the US and/or its allies will be the ones who suffer.  

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