US issues order to Turkish company to stop Boeing airplane engine export to Iran

ISTANBUL – The United States Commerce Department has issued an emergency order using U.S. anti-terrorism export control laws against a Turkish company in an attempt to stop it from exporting two Boeing airplane engines to Iran.

Commerce Department officials say that such orders are used rarely to prevent the imminent export of restricted U.S. items to certain countries, including Iran.

The order posted online was issued Friday because U.S. officials believed that an Iranian cargo company was set to pick up the secondhand engines Tuesday. The order also targeted the Iranian company, Pouya Airline.

H. Engin Borluca , the director of the Turkish company, 3K Aviation & Logistics, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Monday that he was unaware that U.S. restrictions applied to transactions outside of the U.S. and that the company is trying to resolve the matter. He said that his company is seeking to return the engines to the sender.

The U.S. Commerce Department order, signed by Assistant Secretary David Mills, imposes strict restrictions on the business of 3K, Pouya and a third company, U.S.-based Adaero International Trade that the document says shipped the engines to Turkey. The order would restrict the companies for 180 days from trade or shipping of any items on U.S. export control lists. It also would prevent other companies, including banks, from financing or supporting restricted trade by the companies. Violations of the order also could subject the companies to criminal prosecution in the United States.

Borluca said his company was acting as a logistics and customs clearing company and was not involved in the sale of the engines. He said the order could have drastic consequences for his business.

Representatives at Adaero International Trade and Pouya Airline could not immediately be reached for comment.