U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell said Germany’s decision to revoke Mahan Air’s landing rights “sends a clear message: Iran must end its support of terror and destabilizing behavior in the Middle East, Europe and around the globe.”
Mahan Air had regular flights to Dusseldorf and Munich before the German Foreign Ministry on January 21 denied the airline access to German airports, citing the airline’s part in propping up the Assad regime and Germany’s concerns about its own security.
In an opinion piece for Fox News, Grennell said Germany’s move “recognizes the airline’s role in enabling the Iranian regime’s support for terrorist proxies serving the Assad regime” in Syria and Iran’s backing of other terror organizations in the region, including Hezbollah in Lebanon.
On January 24, the U.S. Treasury sanctioned Iranian airline Qeshm Fars Air for being owned and controlled by Mahan Air, as well as an Armenia-based sales agent, Flight Travel LLC, for acting on behalf of Mahan Air.
The United States first sanctioned Mahan Air in 2011. Since the outbreak of civil war in Syria in 2012, Mahan Air has helped spread terrorism by propping up the Assad regime and transporting the Iranian regime’s fighters and weapons across the Middle East.
“Mahan Air’s continued ability to operate around the globe gives the airline false legitimacy. It draws attention away from Mahan’s unwavering support for its most loyal customer — Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps–Quds Force,” said Grenell.