Mahan Air was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2011 for providing material support to the IRGC’s Quds Force in 2011. Though several airlines that had been on the list were removed following the 2015 Iran nuclear deal — Mahan Air remained on it.
The report titled, “An IRGC Quds Force entity operating under the guise of a private company,” stated that one of the most significant findings “was that Mahan Air Corporation does not merely cooperate with the IRGC and the Quds Force, but is wholly owned and controlled by them.” This is the same Quds Force which was sanctioned by the U.S. for providing material support to the Taliban and other Militant organizations in 2007.
The report also describes the complex relationship between Soleimani, the Quds Force commander, and some senior commanders of IRGC who fought under him during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s. These parties operated in the same region in Iran — Kerman, the place where Mahan Air was first registered. Curiously, all those mentioned in the report now hold senior positions at Mahan Air while still being members of the IRGC.
All these observations lead to the conclusion that IGRC being a Militant group is in full control of the Mahan Air that has 62 airliners that fly commercially to 41 destinations in 24 countries.