• Wednesday, Feb 08, 2023
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Germany bans Iranian airline from its airspace after US pressure

  • Published at 04:10 pm January 21st, 2019
Iranian airline-Germany bans
An Iranian airline Mahan Air takes off from Duesseldorf airport DUS, Germany January 16, 2019 Reuters

The United States imposed sanctions on Mahan Air in 2011

Germany has revoked the licence of an Iranian airline because it has been transporting military equipment and personnel to Syria and other Middle East war zones, the foreign ministry said on Monday, after heavy US pressure on Berlin to act.

The United States imposed sanctions on Mahan Air in 2011, saying it provided financial and other support to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards, and has been pressing its European allies to follow suit.

The German ban on the airline takes immediate effect, a foreign ministry spokesman said.

Contacted by Reuters, Mahan Air in Tehran said it could not comment immediately on the ban.

The measure does not signal plans for the ream position of broader sanctions against Iran, a German government source told Reuters.

Mahan Air, established in 1992 as Iran's first private airline, has the country's largest fleet of aircraft and has flights to a number of European countries, including France, Italy, Spain and Greece.

The US ambassador in Berlin, Richard Grenell, who has long objected to Mahan Air's links to Germany, welcomed the ban.

"Mahan Air has flown terrorists, weapons, equipment, and funds to international locations to support Iranian terrorist proxy groups," he said in a statement.

"Iran's use of Mahan Air to support the Assad regime in Syria, for example, has contributed to incredible human suffering, violence, and political instability felt across the world," he said, referring to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

'Security needs'

German government spokesman Steffen Seibert denied that the decision to ban Mahan air was the result of US pressure.

"The German decision is based on considerations of our security needs," he told a regular news conference.

"It cannot be ruled out that this airline could also transport cargo to Germany that threatens our security. This is based on knowledge of past terrorist activities by Iran in Europe," he added.

European countries have been under sustained US pressure to ramose sanctions on Iran since President Donald Trump last year pulled Washington out of a nuclear non-proliferation treaty it had reached with Tehran under his predecessor Barack Obama.

Along with Iran, the other signatories to the deal - Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China - are still trying to keep it alive.

The European countries, with more extensive economic ties to Iran and mindful of the threat that would be posed by another nuclear state in their immediate neighbourhood, have sought to shield themselves from the impact of Washington's extra-territorial sanctions, with limited success.

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail