INVOLVED IN THIS ARTICLE:

Iran Air

Iran Air

IRGC – Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

IRGC – Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

IRGC-Qods Force

IRGC-Qods Force

Hezbollah

Hezbollah

Spain is prohibiting Iran’s Mahan Air from landing at its airports. The airline had been flying into Barcelona but had to quit the route in late March when Spain suddenly cancelled the airline’s license. Unofficially, sources are saying it is part of a wider move to isolate Iran.

A report in CH Aviation suggests the revocation of landing rights follows a campaign by the US Government to isolate Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

A short lived service falls victim to political considerations

The US Government has largely gone out on its own in its attempts to isolate Iran. But that hasn’t stopped it from trying to influence other countries, including European countries, from cutting ties with Iran.

The CH Aviation report cites a report in La Vanguardia, a Spanish newspaper. La Vanguardia says the final Mahan Air flight departed Barcelona on 23 March. Before this, flights between Barcelona and Tehran had run twice weekly.

But it had been a short-lived service with flights only starting to Barcelona in January. The newspaper notes that seat utilization on the route was poor at about 30%. Barcelona Airport was also closed Terminal 2 on 26 March, taking advantage of dwindling passenger numbers to renovate the terminal. Mahan Air operated out of Terminal 2.

The CH Aviation report cites a report in La Vanguardia, a Spanish newspaper. La Vanguardia says the final Mahan Air flight departed Barcelona on 23 March. Before this, flights between Barcelona and Tehran had run twice weekly.

But it had been a short-lived service with flights only starting to Barcelona in January. The newspaper notes that seat utilization on the route was poor at about 30%. Barcelona Airport was also closed Terminal 2 on 26 March, taking advantage of dwindling passenger numbers to renovate the terminal. Mahan Air operated out of Terminal 2.

Mahan Air is alleged to be involved in murky business

Mahan Air is a privately operated airline. But it is alleged to have ties to the Guardians of the Revolution-Quds Force. The United States has alleged that Mahan Air has used its planes to ship weapons, fighters and other equipment to conflict zones including Syria and Yemen. The United States also alleges the airline has worked with Hezbollah.

It’s enough to put the airline squarely in Washington’s sights. Along with the Iranian Government, various leaders, groups, and private Iranian businesses, Mahan Air is on Washington’s sanctions list.

Several European countries follow the US lead

In fairness to Spain, it is just following a wider European trend. Germany, France, and Italy have all asked Iranian carriers to desist from flying into their airports.

In January 2019, Germany sent Iran Air packing from its airports. In a later tweet quoted in CH Aviation, German Health Minister Jens Spahn doubled down, making noises about COVID-19 concerns and Iran’s lack of transparency.

But La Vanguardia says German intelligence informed the German Government’s decision. The Spanish newspaper report cites a German Government spokesperson who said Germany was closed to businesses “that support the war in Syria and help to repress people in conflict zones.”

France followed Germany three months later, also relying on information from their intelligence services. In December last year, Italy closed its airports in Milan and Rome to Mahan Air.

Spain’s decision means Mahan Air no longer flies into mainland Europe.

Source » simpleflying

You May Be Interested