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Germany bans Iranian airline from its airspace after US pressure

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Germany bans Iranian airline from its airspace after US pressure

 

2019-01-21T103600Z_1_LYNXNPEF0K0LO_RTROPTP_3_GERMANY-IRAN-AIRLINE.JPG

An Airbus A340-300 of Iranian airline Mahan Air taxis at Duesseldorf airport DUS, Germany January 16, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

 

BERLIN (Reuters) - 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 U.S. 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 (IRGC), and has been pressing its European allies to follow suit.

 

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

 

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on Monday that the "U.S. Treasury appreciates the important decision by Germany to deny Mahan Air's landing rights. Mahan routinely flies IRGC-QF and weapons to Syria, is subject to our terrorism secondary sanctions, and should be denied access around the world."

 

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

 

The measure does not signal plans for the reimposition 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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. pressure to reimpose sanctions on Iran since President Donald Trump last year pulled Washington out of an international nuclear non-proliferation treaty 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.

 

(Reporting by Andreas Rinke and Riham Alkoussa in Berlin, additional reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin in London and Katanga Johnson in Washington; Writing by Thomas Escritt and Joseph Nasr; Editing by Gareth Jones and Sandra Maler)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-01-22
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24 minutes ago, webfact said:

The U.S. 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.

 

He? I thought the ambassador, a meddler in Germany's domestic affairs, was shamelessly a she. She is after all in a relationship with a he.

 

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1 hour ago, mvdf said:

 

He? I thought the ambassador, a meddler in Germany's domestic affairs, was shamelessly a she. She is after all in a relationship with a he.

 

In September 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Grenell as U.S. Ambassador to Germany. He was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 56–42 on April 26, 2018. He presented his credentials to the President of Germany on May 8, 2018.

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A Norwegian 737 MAX had to do an emergency landing in Iran.

Now stuck for more than a month as no spare parts for repair can be brought due to sanctions.

https://www.newsinenglish.no/2019/01/15/norwegian-air-jet-still-stuck-in-iran/

 

Better avoid Iran airspace from now.

Another big detour on the Europe - SEA route.

Edited by KhunBENQ

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1 hour ago, car720 said:

In September 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Grenell as U.S. Ambassador to Germany. He was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 56–42 on April 26, 2018. He presented his credentials to the President of Germany on May 8, 2018.

and is politically isolated because of constant interference in the internal affairs of Germany.

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2 hours ago, KhunBENQ said:

A Norwegian 737 MAX had to do an emergency landing in Iran.

Now stuck for more than a month as no spare parts for repair can be brought due to sanctions.

https://www.newsinenglish.no/2019/01/15/norwegian-air-jet-still-stuck-in-iran/

 

Better avoid Iran airspace from now.

Another big detour on the Europe - SEA route.

better write it off...

Bet it has already been striped for parts.

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4 hours ago, soalbundy said:

and is politically isolated because of constant interference in the internal affairs of Germany.

He got off to a quick start.  Within hours of arriving he tweeted “German companies doing business in Iran should wind down operations immediately.”  And later stated that he wanted to "empower" European conservatives.  Very diplomatic.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/new-us-ambassador-to-germany-offends-hosts-just-hours-into-his-first-day_us_5af337d2e4b0859d11cfcd5f

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3 hours ago, Basil B said:

better write it off...

Bet it has already been striped for parts.

No, it's just pining for the Fjords.

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11 minutes ago, ballpoint said:

No, it's just pining for the Fjords.

"Beautiful plumage, the Norwegian Blue."

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11 hours ago, webfact said:

Germany bans Iranian airline from its airspace after US pressure

And yet....

 

11 hours ago, webfact said:

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

 

So there is an obvious contradiction within the article... I wonder which is closer to the truth.... esp given...

 

11 hours ago, webfact said:

Along with Iran, the other signatories to the deal - Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China - are still trying to keep it (the non proliferation treaty... added by me) alive.

In caving to US pressure, Germany in no way helps keep the deal alive, but if it’s true that...

 

11 hours ago, webfact said:

"The German decision is based on considerations of our security needs," 

Then I suppose the ban is thought thru and justified, and perhaps in Germany’s best interest, vs a result of US pressure.

 

what a world we live in, when everything must be spun.

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