The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has issued a warning to airports around the world that they risk serious consequences in their dealings with sanctioned Iranian carriers.
In a speech before the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies in Washington this week, the US Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Sigal Mandelker, singled out Mahan Air (W5, Tehran Mehrabad) as a key conduit being used by the Iranian government to export what she termed “global terrorism”.
“One of the proper responses to this kind of Iranian support is to stop allowing airlines who [sic] fly Iranian fighters into Syria to continue to fly into your country and to designate those airlines because they are being used to support what we all agree is a horrific crisis. I invite all of you here to go to Mahan’s website and see the extensive list of destinations where they fly throughout the world,” she said.
“Likewise, countries and companies around the world should take note of the risks associated with granting landing rights and providing aviation services to the airlines used by Iran to export terrorism throughout the region, including the risks of our secondary sanctions.”
The ch-aviation routes module shows Mahan Air serves 53 destinations in 18 countries including Kazakhstan, China, Turkey, Italy, France, Armenia, Iraq, Ukraine, Germany, Denmark, the UAE, Thailand, Azerbaijan, Russia, India, Malaysia, and Afghanistan.
OFAC has embargoed several other Iranian carriers including Caspian Airlines, Meraj Air, Pouya Air Lines, and more recently, Dena Airways, as well as their associated aircraft fleets. It has highlighted that potentially sanctionable activities include, but are not limited to: procurement of aircraft parts and equipment, maintenance contracts, airline ground services and catering, interline transfer and codeshare agreements, general sales agent services, ticketing services and sales and marketing services, cargo cooperation agreements, cargo sales agent services and agreements, and freight forwarding services and agreements.
Iran Air (IR, Tehran Mehrabad) chief executive Farzaneh Sharafbafi was recently quoted by the IRIB news agency as saying she expects her carrier’s ability to refuel at certain foreign airports to be withdrawn “soon”.