Iran cancels plan to have warships approach US borders in Atlantic

After a tense week of diplomacy between American and Iranian representatives, Iran has called off a deployment of warships to the Atlantic Ocean, the semi-official Fars news agency said on Sunday, shelving plans for its vessels to approach US maritime borders in response to the US navy’s presence in the Gulf.

The announcement comes shortly after Iran overturned the death sentence of a former US marine imprisoned in Iran on charges of working for the CIA. The American, Amir Hekmati, has had his sentence reduced to 10 years in prison by a supreme court decision. The commuted sentence is a positive signal for US-Iranian relations, but an ongoing debate over Iran’s nominated diplomat to the UN threatens to derail nuclear negotiations. The diplomat, Hamid Aboutalebi, is barred entry to the US due to alleged links to the 1979 hostage crisis, but Tehran has refused to consider a new candidate.

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Exclusive: Testing detente, U.S. firms move to sell jet parts to Iran

(Reuters) – U.S. aerospace companies are seeking permission to sell airliner parts to Iran for the first time in three decades, in a key test of the temporary relief on sanctions given under talks to curtail Iran’s nuclear activities.

At least two leading manufacturers, Boeing and engine maker General Electric (GE), have applied for export licenses in a six-month window agreed by Iran and six world powers in November, industry officials and other sources familiar with the matter said.

If approved, the sales would be the first acknowledged dealings between U.S. aerospace companies and Iran since the 1979 U.S. hostage crisis led to sanctions that were later broadened during the dispute over Iran’s nuclear activities. Continue reading