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U.S. Senators urge sanction on Iranian airline helping funnel weapons to Assad and Hezbollah

A group of four U.S. Senators are urging US government to impose economic sanctions on any company doing business with an Iranian airline that the US Department of Treasury has designated for its support for terrorism and funneling of weapons to Hezbollah and to the Assad regime in Syria.

US Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Chris Coons (D-DE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) wrote in a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew: “As Mahan Air continues to operate and even expand its international business network, it is clear that tough words from the administration are not enough. It is time to impose sanctions now on companies aiding Mahan Air.”

“We urge you to immediately identify to us all known entities engaged in commercial transactions with Mahan Air and take action now to sanction those companies, including freezing all assets of those entities found under U.S. jurisdiction.”

Iran Mahan air works in conjunction to promote the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards Corps’ agendas which is to support terrorist groups in the region.

In his August 2015 testimony, Acting Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Adam Szubin reaffirmed that ‘our sanctions list with respect to Iran will remain very extensive. We are not relieving sanctions against Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, the IRGC, or the Quds force or any of their subsidiaries or senior officials.’
In a September 2015 speech, Szubin explicitly singled out Mahan Air by stating, ‘We will continue to expose Mahan’s front companies, and to remind governments and private industry in the 24 cities where Mahan continues to fly that they risk exposure to U.S. sanctions.’

According the text of the letter published on Friday, the Senators wrote : “Despite these commitments, Mahan Air continues to fly into such European countries as Denmark, Sweden, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Italy, as well as our Persian Gulf Arab allies. Mahan Air has recently introduced new flights to Russia, and intends to further expand its routes in Europe. Mahan Air often flies its planes to commercial airports within hours of their return from arms delivery to Damascus or to equip Iran’s terror-proxy Hezbollah with weapons aimed directly at Israel. It regularly delivers IRGC personnel to and from Iran and Syria, as well as provides covert flights for IRGC senior officers into and out of Iraq to work with sectarian militias.”

“Mahan Air relies on a host of local partners who provide financial and other services in order for it to maintain a robust international flight network. Those working with Mahan Air should understand that they will be sanctioned by the United States for supporting terrorism. We urge you to immediately identify to us all known entities engaged in commercial transactions with Mahan Air and take action now to sanction those companies, including freezing all assets of those entities found under U.S. jurisdiction.”

“We are also aware that Tehran is in the process of purchasing a large number of commercial airliners. We ask you to monitor and ensure that, even under the suspension of enforcement of nuclear-related sanctions, no U.S. aircraft equipment is ever diverted to Mahan Air. Strong and swift sanctions enforcement is vital to hold Iran to account for its ongoing support of terrorism, ballistic missile development, and human rights violations.”