Qatar Airways announces more flights to Iran weeks after US sanctions reimposed on Tehran

Qatar Airways announces more flights to Iran weeks after US sanctions reimposed on Tehran. (File photo / AFP)
Updated 26 November 2018

Qatar Airways announces more flights to Iran weeks after US sanctions reimposed on Tehran

DUBAI: Qatar Airways will add more flights to Iran from January, the state-owned Gulf airline announced on Monday just weeks after the United States re-imposed sanctions aimed at crippling Tehran’s economy.
President Donald Trump has threatened to bar companies that continue to do business with Iran from the US market.
Qatar Airways will add two weekly flights to its existing Doha-Tehran route and add three weekly flights on its Shiraz service in January. It will also launch two weekly flights to Isfahan in February.
“These latest launches are further evidence of Qatar Airways’ commitment to Iran, as well as the expansion of our network in this thriving market ...,” Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar Al-Baker said in a statement.
European carriers Air France and British Airways halted flights to Iran this year. Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways has also stopped flying to Iran, while Dubai’s Emirates and flydubai have consolidated some routes as part of a partnership led by their shared state owner.
Washington announced on Nov. 5 a series of sanctions targeting Iran’s banks, oil and shipping sectors, national airline and 200 individuals after Trump pulled the United States out of an international nuclear deal with Tehran.
The sanctions are aimed at forcing Iran to further curb its nuclear work, to suspend its ballistic missile program and its influence in the Middle East.
Qatar has forged closer economic ties with Iran since June 2017. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut political and economic ties with Doha, accusing it of supporting terrorism.


Jordan criticizes Israel over Al-Aqsa Mosque changes

Updated 18 August 2019

Jordan criticizes Israel over Al-Aqsa Mosque changes

  • Palestinians welcomed the Jordanian position but expressed concerns over a decline of support for Amman’s custodianship of the holy places at Al-Aqsa

AMMAN: Jordan has stepped up its diplomatic pressure on Israel, demanding that they do not change the status quo at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Zaid Lozi, director-general of Jordan’s Foreign Ministry, summoned Israeli Ambassador to Jordan Amir Weissbrod to protest Israel’s actions in Jerusalem.

According to Petra News, Lozi told the envoy that recent remarks by Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Ardan over changing the status quo at Al-Aqsa Mosque are unacceptable. Lozi added that the mosque is a place of worship for Muslims only.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi addressed a group of EU ambassadors in Amman and “stressed the urgency of effective international steps against Israel’s violations of Holy Sites in occupied Jerusalem.”

Safadi told Arab News that the situation in Jerusalem is challenging and must be addressed. He said that he will present a detailed report on Jordan’s position to Parliament on Monday.

The ministry denounced the Israeli authorities’ closure of the mosque’s gates and demanded that Israel respects its obligations in accordance with international humanitarian law.

HIGHLIGHT

• Muslims insist that all 144,000 square meters of the UNESCO World Heritage Site are a single unit that has belonged to them for 11 centuries.

Hatem Abdel Qader, a member of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, told Arab News that Israeli authorities had been attempting to enforce major changes at the mosque.

“Security forces barged into the mosque yesterday. They went to the Bab Al-Rahmeh Mosque where they confiscated carpets and the closet where shoes are kept.”

Jordan’s diplomatic statements follow comments by Ardan, who said that Israel is disappointed with the current state of affairs at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

According to Israeli officials, the mosque area is sovereign Israeli territory, despite it being administered by Jordan. Muslims insist that all 144,000 square meters of the UNESCO World Heritage Site are a single unit that has belonged to them for 11 centuries.

Qader said that Palestinians welcomed the Jordanian position but expressed concerns over a decline of support for Amman’s custodianship of the holy places at Al-Aqsa.

“There appears to have been a gradual deterioration of Arab and Islamic support to Jordan. It surprises me that Muslims have been quiet, perhaps they see an advantage if Jordan’s role is diminished? If true, this would be dangerous.”

Qader, a former minister in the Palestinian government and a current member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, told Arab News that Jordan’s position “guarantees continuation of the status quo.”