U.S. sanctions Emirati companies for supporting Iranian airline Mahan Air.

The U.S. government announced Wednesday sanctions against UAE-based Parthia Cargo and Delta Parts Supply for their support of Mahan Air, an airline allegedly linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions also affect Iranian Amin Mahdavi, owner and managing director of Parthia Cargo, who lives in the United Arab Emirates.

“These companies have provided key spare parts and logistics services to Mahan Air,” a company included by the U.S. since December 2019 on its list of entities sanctioned for alleged links to terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the Treasury said in a statement.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the note that “the Iranian regime is using Mahan Air as a tool to spread its destabilizing agenda around the world, including corrupt regimes in Syria and Venezuela, as well as terrorist groups throughout the Middle East.

Mnuchin warned that the United States “will continue to take action against those who support this airline.

According to the U.S. government, Parthia Cargo and Delta Parts Supply are helping Mahan Air maintain its fleet of aircraft, thus transporting “terrorists and lethal cargo into Syria to prop up the killers of (Bashar Al) Assad’s regime.

Recently, according to the U.S., Mahan Air has brought “Iranian technicians and equipment to Venezuela to support the efforts of President Nicolas Maduro’s regime to revive energy production ruined by corruption and mismanagement.

Parthia Cargo and Amin Mahdavi are subject to criminal charges in U.S. courts for allegedly re-exporting aircraft parts without a license in Iran in violation of sanctions imposed on Tehran, the Treasury said.

He has also “transported operations, weapons, equipment and funds” of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in support of regional terrorist operations, as well as weapons and personnel for the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah, an ally of Iran.

The U.S. accuses Mahan Air of having sent “routinely” since the beginning of the civil war in Syria fighters and material “to prop up the Assad regime, which has contributed to the regime’s atrocities and the displacement of civilians.

Parthia Cargo, based in Dubai, is a freight forwarder for Mahan Air that has regularly shipped aircraft parts, some of which are of U.S. origin, to Tehran directly or from front companies in Istanbul, the Treasury said.

The Treasury recalled that in July last year it issued a warning to the civil aviation industry about the danger of economic sanctions in case of “providing unauthorized support to Iranian airlines (…) involved in facilitating the operation of the Iranian regime or supporting the militias and groups it supports.

As a result of these sanctions, all property that those affected may have in the United States is frozen, while Americans and their companies will not be able to do business with them.

In May 2018, US President Donald Trump withdrew his country from the nuclear agreement with Iran and other European powers to set limits on the Iranian atomic programme.


Photo: Shahram Sharifi / Wikimedia