A rare emergency order was issued by the U.S. Commerce Department to prevent two large GE-built commercial jet engines from being re-exported to Iran by a Turkish-based company. The order was signed by Assistant Commerce Secretary David Mills to block 3K Aviation Consulting & Logistics from re-exporting the two engines to Iran using Pouya Airline, an Iranian cargo airline. The order will be in effect for 180 days.
According to one Commerce Department official, the department issues one or two orders like this each year. While U.S.-Iranian ties have been warming in recent years, most exports to Iran remain strictly banned under U.S. law. If the engines are shipped to Iran, 3K Aviation, Pouya Airline and Adaero International Trade, the Illinois-based company that shipped the used aircraft engines to Turkey, will face sweeping consequences.
All three companies and their key officers are banned from engaging in negotiations, trade, transport or other activities involving any U.S. export-controlled items by the order. Banks, insurance companies and other parties that might be involved in financing or otherwise supporting any such transactions are also covered by the order. Sadettin Ilgin, managing director of Adaero International, denied any wrongdoing. He told the media that he is currently in talks with U.S. and Turkish authorities to clear his company’s name.
According to Ilgin, the company had documentation showing that it sold the engines to U.S.-based International Aerospace Group, and then shipped them from Istanbul, Turkey, to Frankfurt, Germany to be sent to Russia for use by Siberian Air. Ilgin said, “We did not sell the engines to 3K. This was all done properly and we have the paperwork to show it.”
No comment was available from 3k Aviation or from International Aerospace Group. A Commerce Department official declined comment on whether Turkey was cooperating with the U.S. government on the issue. According to GE spokesman Rick Kennedy, the company had not been informed about the Commerce Department order.