Qatar Airways commits to Iran flights despite sanctions

Qatar Airways says US sanctions on Iran will not impact flights to the Islamic republic. (File photo / AFP)
Updated 08 October 2018
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Qatar Airways commits to Iran flights despite sanctions

DOHA: US sanctions on Iran will not impact Qatar Airways’ flights to the Islamic republic, the airline’s boss Akbar Al-Baker said on Monday.
Speaking at a high-profile business conference in the Qatari capital Doha, Baker said services to Iran would continue despite a tightening economic and political squeeze on Iran by Washington.
“Aviation is not a sanctioned industry, Qatar Airways will continue to operate into the cities we are currently operating in Iran,” he said.
“Our flights to Iran will not be affected.”
Qatar Airways’ Iran destinations include Mashhad and Shiraz, while the airline operates daily flights to Tehran, according to its website.
Baker’s comments come as US President Donald Trump’s administration is expected to impose a second round of tough sanctions on Iran next month.
A first tranche of punitive measures were introduced in August by the US after it withdrew in May from the 2015 international deal aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
Washington has also warned foreign businesses to steer clear of Iran.
Already, major European airlines including Air France and British Airways have stopped flights to Iran, following the sanctions’ announcement.
Qatar is also under scrutiny over its relationship with Iran, with whom it shares the world’s largest natural gas field.
Since June 5, 2017, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt have imposed a sweeping embargo on Qatar, sparking the worst political rift to ever hit the Gulf, in part because of Iran.
The four countries accuse Doha of seeking closer ties with Tehran, Saudi Arabia’s arch-rival, as well as supporting radical extremist groups.
Qatar denies the charges, accusing its neighbors of seeking regime change.


Twitter co-founder Evan Williams leaving board

Updated 9 min 26 sec ago
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Twitter co-founder Evan Williams leaving board

  • ‘It’s been an incredible 13 years, and I’m proud of what Twitter has accomplished during my time with the company’
  • ‘I’m going to ride off into the sunset (or...down Market Street), so I can focus on some other things’

SAN FRANCISCO: Twitter co-founder and one-time chief executive Evan Williams is stepping down from the board, leaving the one-to-many messaging service to focus on “other projects.”
Williams will depart the Twitter board at the end of this month, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.
“It’s been an incredible 13 years, and I’m proud of what Twitter has accomplished during my time with the company,” Williams said in the filing.
“I will continue rooting for the team as I focus my time on other projects.”
Williams throttled back his role in the San Francisco-based startup eight years ago, turning his attention to new endeavors including creating popular online publishing platform Medium.
Williams ceded his role as Twitter chief executive to Dick Costolo in 2010. Co-founder Jack Dorsey returned as Twitter chief in 2015, having held the position when the startup was nascent.
Dorsey said in a Tweet that Williams was the reason he joined startup Odeo, an endeavor that led to him, Williams and Biz Stone creating Twitter.
“I appreciate you, Ev!” Dorsey tweeted on Friday.
“We’re going to miss your voice in our board conversations.”
Twitter has become a high-profile, and sometimes controversial, global stage for communication since it was launched in March of 2006.
“Thank you, @jack and @biz for starting this crazy company with me-and continuing to make it better and better,” Williams tweeted.
“I’m going to ride off into the sunset (or...down Market Street), so I can focus on some other things.”