On Tuesday, a New York Times reporter in Iran spotted an American plane at Mehrabad Airport in Tehran, an extremely unique sight given the harsh sanctions imposed on the country by the United States and other Western nations.
For an American plane to enter Iran legally, a number of hoops would need to be jumped through. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control needs to give approval for an American aircraft to travel to Iran—they gave a “no comment” to the Times reporter who spotted the plane.
Complicating things further, the jet’s engines are made by General Electric, meaning that the Commerce Department would also have to sign off on allowing American-made equipment to enter the isolated country.
The plane is owned by a small bank chain in Utah. Adding to the mysgtery, the bank is a trustee for 1,169 planes, “more planes than just about any other bank.”
Owning the plane through a trust allows the owner privacy. A bank employee said that the bank has no operation control or financial exposure to the planes. They're owners by proxy.
The plane is a Bombardier Challenger CL-604.