Iran's Mahan Air cancels Paris flights over 'sanctions'

Iran's Mahan Air cancels Paris flights over 'sanctions'
An operator at Mahan Air's office in Imam Khomeini Airport said the airline was forced to cancel its Paris flights over "sanctions".
2 min read
19 March, 2019
Mahan Air is Iran's second largest carrier [Getty]
Iran's Mahan Air has been forced to cancel its Paris flights over "sanctions", its customer services team said on Tuesday, weeks after Germany banned the airline.

"We have been told that (flights to France) have been cancelled... as of the first of April," an operator at the airline's office in Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport told AFP.

The Paris schedule will be scrapped "because of sanctions" by the French, the source said by phone without elaborating.

Two of the airline's French customers in Iran were notified by email that their flights booked for next month were cancelled.

Mahan, the Islamic republic's second-largest carrier after Iran Air, flies up to four services a week between Tehran and Paris.

Germany imposed a ban on Mahan in January, which the foreign ministry said was necessary to protect Berlin's "foreign and security policy interests".

That decision came amid broader sanctions adopted by the European Union against Tehran over attacks on opponents in the bloc. 

Iran has denied any involvement in the alleged plots and described Germany's move as "hasty and unjustifiable."

Mahan Air was blacklisted by the US in 2011, as Washington said the carrier was providing technical and material support to an elite unit of Iran's Revolutionary Guards known as the Quds Force.

The US treasury has threatened sanctions against countries and companies offering the airline's 31 aircraft landing rights or services such as on-board dining.

But Brussels and Washington have been at odds on how best to deal with Iran since President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from a 2015 deal lifting some sanctions in exchange for Tehran suspending its nuclear programme.

In January, the EU targeted sanctions at Iran's security services and two of their leaders, accused of involvement in a series of murders and planned attacks against Tehran critics in the Netherlands, Denmark and France.

Brussels' measures included freezing funds and financial assets belonging to Iran's intelligence ministry and individual officials, but did not target any companies.

Rail operator Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Telekom, Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler and industrial group Siemens have all said they will stop their operations in the country.

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