(WASHINGTON) — Here’s something you don’t see every day.
At Joint Base Andrews Wednesday morning, reporters traveling to Ohio with President Obama spotted what is in all likelihood Iranian President Mahmoud Amadinejad’s airplane sitting on the tarmac: an American-made Boeing 747.
The Iran Air jet was parked next to the Russian government airplane and several others that appeared to be from foreign governments. Andrews becomes a parking lot for the planes during the annual U.N. General Assembly since there is not enough space at John F. Kennedy International Airport and other New York City area airports.
It’s not the first time Ahmadinejad’s plane has been parked at Andrews during the Assembly: In 2006, ABC News reported it was there because it was considered a “high-value target.”
Iran has an entire fleet of aging Boeing passenger planes, which they purchased when the Shah was still in power. Current U.S. sanctions do not allow the Iranians to buy spare parts for the aircraft, meaning a lot of these passenger planes are dropping out of the sky. That has lead to some criticism of the sanctions because they put innocent lives at risk.
The Obama administration has dangled spare parts for the Boeings in front of Iran during negotiations over its nuclear program.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Ray Sanchez, CNN
Billy Hallowell, Deseret News
Steve Almasy, CNN