(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 →
Thales Alenia Space selling sensitive technology to Chinese…
The U.S. government cut off exports of satellites to China in the 1990s after U.S. aerospace companies helped make China’s strategic nuclear missiles more reliable by improperly assisting China’s space launchers.
According to the Pentagon’s annual report on China’s military, the Chinese are developing an array of space warfare capabilities, including anti-satellite missiles and lasers. The report said China’s military has stated that it plans on “destroying, damaging, and interfering with the enemy’s reconnaissance … and communications satellites” in a future conflict. The report also said such systems and navigation and early warning satellites are targets in an initial phase of attack that would “blind and deafen the enemy.”
China’s development of space warfare capabilities is a major concern of U.S. national security officials opposed to loosening export controls on commercial space technology.
Thales built the Chinasat 6B satellite in 2007 and in 2008 began advertising Spacebus 4000 satellites for sale as “ITAR-free.” It then exported several of the satellites, including some to China, a country limited from such sales by under the International Traffic in Arms (ITAR) regulations.