A Norwegian commercial airliner which made an emergency landing in Iran in December is still waiting for replacement parts it needs to fly home – components which have been blocked due to sanctions unilaterally imposed by the US.
Norwegian Air flight DY1933 – which ferries passengers between Dubai and Oslo – was forced to make an emergency landing in Shiraz, Iran, on December 14 after experiencing engine trouble. The unscheduled detour went smoothly enough: the plane landed safely, and passengers were able to catch a flight out of Shiraz the following day. The plane itself, however, has remained stranded in Iran due to a lack of spare parts: US sanctions prohibit importing technology into Iran that has more than 10 percent of American-made parts.
While it’s possible that Norwegian Air could receive a one-time exemption from the US Treasury Department to import the necessary engine parts, a lawyer who works on sanctions-related issues told NPR that it was a “long shot.”
Ironically, the US sanctions meant to deprive Iran of modernizing and integrating into the global economy may actually backfire in this case: If the Iranians so choose, they could seize the Boeing 737 – which is likely filled with sanctions-restricted technology.
Last year, Washington unilaterally re-imposed wide-ranging sanctions on Tehran after pulling out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), colloquially known as the Iran nuclear deal.
Germany, France and the UK announced in January that they had set up a new payment system which can bypass US sanctions and facilitate “legitimate trade.”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned in November that there would be “swift punishment” for any countries caught doing business with Iran.