1120 GMT February 25, 2020
In 2010, Congress granted Obama the authority to allow exports of goods, services, or technologies to Iran if he determines those sales "to be in the national interest," USA Today reported.
On Friday, Obama delegated that authority to Secretary of State John Kerry through a presidential memorandum, a presidential directive similar to an executive order.
Obama’s decree came ahead of the implementation day of last year nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.
“The [nuclear] agreement makes two exceptions: Iran can buy US civilian passenger aircraft, and sell certain crafts – specifically carpets and rugs – to the United States”, USA Today said.
US sanctions ban the sale of aircraft and parts to Iran. Under an interim nuclear deal in 2013, the West eased the ban on sales of spare parts but selling planes is still prohibited.
Western sanctions are the biggest enemy of Iran’s aviation which has been plagued by a series of air crashes, claiming the lives of hundreds of Iranians.
The nuclear accord reached with Tehran last July has provided Iran with a chance to renew its fleet of commercial aircraft.
Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi has said that Iran would need to buy 500 commercial aircraft of various models at a cost of $50 billion.
Iran’s civil aviation fleet consists of 248 aircraft with an average age of 20 years, 100 of which are grounded, he has said.