Germany has banned Iran’s second largest airline Mahan Air from landing on its airports, in an escalation of sanctions adopted by the European Union against Iran.
Following heavy US pressure on Berlin to act, the deputy foreign ministry spokesman Christofer Burger announced the measure, saying “Mahan Air is transporting military equipment and people to various conflict zones in the Middle East, especially to Syria,” ….and added Germany viewed Iran’s “destabilizing activities” in the region as “unacceptable”.
Mahan Air operates four flights a week between Tehran and the German cities Duesseldorf and Munich. The airline makes almost daily flights between Iran and Syria., and Sunday afternoon had to turn back following reported Israeli strikes in and around the Syrian capital Damascus.
The US treasury has threatened sanctions against countries and companies offering the Mahan Air’s 31 aircraft landing rights or services such as on-board dining.
Mahan Air, established in 1992 as Iran’s first private airline, operates 54 aircraft to 78 destinations including France, Italy, Spain, and Greece.