Germany bans Iranian airline over military, terrorist links

The government suspects the airline, which has been on a US sanctions list since 2011, is used for military purposes by the IRGC. (AP)
Updated 22 January 2019
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Germany bans Iranian airline over military, terrorist links

  • Several EU countries accuse Iran of carrying out spying operations or planning attacks on the continent
  • US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed the German ban

JEDDAH: An Iranian airline was banned on Monday from operating in Germany because it is being used for military and terrorist purposes by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

German authorities revoked Mahan Air’s license on the grounds that it has been transporting military equipment and personnel to Syria and other Middle East war zones.

“It cannot be ruled out that this airline carries out transports to Germany that affect our security concerns,” a government spokesman in Berlin said.

Mahan Air was established in 1992 as Iran’s first private airline. It has the country’s largest fleet of aircraft and has flights to a number of European countries, including France, Italy, Spain and Greece. It operated six flights a week between Tehran and the German cities of Dusseldorf and Munich.

The US imposed sanctions on the airline in 2011 because it provided financial and other support to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and has been pressing its European allies to follow suit.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed the German ban. 

“The airline transports weapons and fighters across the Middle East, supporting the Iranian regime’s destructive ambitions around the region,” he said. “We encourage all our allies to follow suit.”


Saudi finance ministry closes book on March sukuk issuance — agency

Updated 26 March 2019
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Saudi finance ministry closes book on March sukuk issuance — agency

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s finance ministry has closed the book for investors seeking to take part in its March 2019 sukuk issuance program, which aims to raise 6.075 billion riyals ($1.62 billion), the Saudi press agency reported on Monday.
The sukuk are divided into two tranches of 10 and 15 years. The first tranche is for 2.395 billion riyals of 10-year bonds, and the second is for 3.680 billion riyals of 15-year bonds to mature by 2034.