In the wake of the Iran nuclear nonproliferation treaty agreed to last year, Boeing has reached a historic deal to provide passenger airplanes to Iranian national carrier Iran Air to update its aging commercial fleet, but many in Congress – mostly Republicans – are trying to scuttle the transaction. This would represent a large setback for a major U.S. business, and all the jobs it would create here, but it would be even more damaging to long-term foreign relations and the prospect of peace.

In exchange for Iran’s adherence to reductions and limitations on its nuclear activities and infrastructure under a deal, some economic sanctions have been eased. This opened the door – if only a crack – to increased economic ties between the two countries, though trade with the U.S. is still generally prohibited and Iran is still banned from using the dollar and accessing the U.S. financial system.

The Boeing deal, worth up to $25 billion, would include the sale of 80 passenger airplanes of various models for $17.6 billion, plus the lease of an additional 29 Boeing 737s. But the House Financial Services Committee recently passed three measures designed to block it. European rival Airbus has already reached a $27 billion deal with Iran for 118 aircraft. Should the Boeing deal be scuttled, that business would presumably be given to Airbus or other international businesses.

Iran has upheld its end of the bargain so far, having gotten rid of two-thirds of its installed centrifuge capacity and reduced its stockpile of low enriched uranium by 98 percent.

In the spirit of breeding trust, it is time for the U.S. to uphold its end of the deal. It is time to live up to the noble ideal of free trade – especially with nations such as Iran with which tensions are high and we have strong disagreements. The voluntary cooperation and shared prosperity through increased jobs and economic growth that will develop will enrich the lives of people in both nations, while making armed conflict between their governments more costly.