US imposes new sanctions on Iran airline over Yemen interference

Washington targeted three general sales agents of Mahan Air over the role the airline allegedly played in weapons of mass destruction proliferation.
Thursday 12/12/2019
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a session of the Islamic Consultative Assembly (the Iranian Parliament), during which he presented a draft state budget, December 8, 2019. (DPA)
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a session of the Islamic Consultative Assembly (the Iranian Parliament), during which he presented a draft state budget, December 8, 2019. (DPA)

WASHINGTON – The United States imposed additional sanctions on Iran’s biggest airline and its shipping industry, accusing them of transporting lethal equipment from Iran to Yemen and weapons of mass destruction proliferation.

Washington targeted three general sales agents of Mahan Air over the role the airline allegedly played in weapons of mass destruction proliferation, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

Also blacklisted was an Iranian shipping network suspected of smuggling lethal aid from Iran to Yemen on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its elite foreign paramilitary and espionage arm, al-Quds Force, the US Treasury said.

The sanctions targeted Iranian businessman Abdolhossein Khedri and his companies Khedri Jahan Darya Co and Maritime Silk Road LLC for alleged shipping operations on behalf of al-Quds Force.

Mahan Air has previously been blacklisted for alleged support provided to al-Quds Force, Hezbollah and Syrian President Bashar Assad, a Treasury Department statement said.

The Treasury sanctions freeze any US assets of those targeted and prohibit Americans from doing business with them.

“The Iranian regime uses its aviation and shipping industries to supply its regional terrorist and militant groups with weapons, directly contributing to the devastating humanitarian crises in Syria and Yemen,” US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

“Aviation and shipping industries should be vigilant and not allow their industries to be exploited by terrorists.”

(Reuters)

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