Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Commercial Airliner Flying Fighters, Weapons from Tehran to Damascus | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55357267

FILE — In this March 1, 2015 file photo, Yemeni airport, security and transportation officials greet a plane from the Iranian private airline, Mahan Air after it lands in Sanaa, Yemen. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed, File)

London- At a time when Iran is investing the Nuclear Deal to develop its fleet, U.S. media sources renewed fears that Iranian air companies linked to the Revolutionary Guards would use those jets to send weapons and fighters to Syria.

A report published by Forbes said Iranian commercial aircraft routinely violate international aviation rules by transporting arms and military personnel to Syria, and therefore, “selling aircraft to Iran will expose manufacturers to the risk of becoming complicit in such activities.”

Forbes said Iran was trying to ink a deal to buy up to 500 aircraft over the next decade.

The magazine said: “Iran remains the foremost state sponsor of terrorism in the world and is still number one on the recently-released Basel Anti-Money Laundering Index Report of 2016, which assesses the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing in 149 countries.”

The report coincides with the comments of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who expressed his country’s worries regarding Iran’s transfer of weapons to Yemen.

Also, the international community is worried from an Iranian activity towards refueling conflicts in Arab countries, which Tehran says was protecting its security and national interests.

Last Thursday, Iran announced that a deal with Airbus was in its last phases,” according to Fars news agency, quoting Iranian Minister of Transportation Minister Abbas Akhoundi.

Forbes warned the Airbus Company to think twice before inking such a deal.

The report said: “The problem with the Islamic Republic’s aircraft shopping spree is that Iran’s state-owned airline, Iran Air, will be the sole company purchasing these aircraft.” It said Iran’s current fleet stands at 36 aircraft while its subsidiary, Iran Air Tours, has 14.

Mahan Air is considered the first Iranian company, which conducted flights to Syria for transferring weapons in 2011.

Iranian and foreign sources had accused Mahan Air for sending weapons to three states: Lebanon, Sudan and Syria. The company also faces several accusations for cooperating with units linked to the Revolutionary Guards and its foreign arms al-Quds Forces.