TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - The United States imposed sanctions on Mahan Air in 2011, accusing the civilian airliner of providing financial and other support to Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC).
Since 2011, US has pressured its European allies to follow suit, Reuters Reported.
A German court made the decision based on suspicions after German Foreign Ministry claimed that Mahan Air transports military equipment and personnel to Middle East war zones.
The German ban on the airline takes immediate effect, a foreign ministry spokesman said.
US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin appreciated the decision by Germany. The US ambassador in Berlin, Richard Grenell, who has long objected to Mahan Air’s links to Germany, welcomed the ban.
Meanwhile German government spokesman Steffen Seibert denied that the decision to ban Mahan air was the result of US pressure.
The measure does not signal plans for the re-imposition of broader sanctions against Iran, a German government source told Reuters.
Mahan has popped up on German political radars before speculation first surfaced last year that Berlin was mulling rescinding its landing rights due to pressure from Washington. American officials have been critical of Europe’s decision to grant Mahan commercial flight rights in 2016.
Mahan had flown to Munich and Dusseldorf three times a week and Munich once a week.
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.
European countries have been under sustained US pressure to impose sanctions on Iran since US President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of Joint Comprehensive Plane of Action (JCPOA) in May 2018. The landmark multilateral agreement was signed by Tehran and the 5+1 Group in 2015, during Barack Obama's presidency.
Source: Iran Press