U.S.: Iranian Airlines Support Regime in Regional Violence by Transporting Fighters and Weapons

Written by Shahriar Kia 

The United States on Tuesday warned companies against dealing with Iranian airlines, alleging that many of them support Iran’s regime in regional violence by transporting fighters and weapons to international locations.

Entities that provide services for designated Iranian airlines, including financing, reservations and ticketing as well as procurement of aircraft parts, could be at risk of enforcement actions or economic sanctions from the U.S., the Treasury Department said in an advisory.

“The international civil aviation industry, including service providers like general sales agents, brokers, and title companies, need to be on high alert to ensure they are not complicit in Iran’s malign activities,” Sigal Mandelker, Treasury’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement.

The advisory comes amid growing tensions between Iran’s regime and Western countries. Last week, the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) seized a British-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, the latest in a series of skirmishes in and around the Persian Gulf in recent months. Tehran has pushed back against U.S. sanctions imposed after President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

The Iranian regime routinely relies on certain commercial airlines to supply fighters and material to militias and to Syria in support of dictator Bashar al-Assad, the Treasury said.

The advisory highlighted Mahan Air, which was blacklisted by the U.S. in 2011, alleging that the airline has a role in providing financial, material and technological support to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, the Wall Street Journal wrote on Wednesday. The U.S. State Department designated the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization in April 2019.

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