US Congress mulls crackdown on Iran airlines
A new legislation is circulating through US Senate that would require the government to crack down on an Iranian airline company, American media reports say.
Mahan Air is the target of the measure which would require the Trump administration to provide Congress with a list of all airports where the commercial carrier has landed, the report said.
Those airports as well as all planes flying into the United States from anywhere used by Mahan Air would be subject to scrutiny and crackdown, it added.
“The move is being viewed as just the first move by Congress against Mahan and other Iranian airline carriers,” the pro-Israeli website Washington Free Beacon reported.
Mahan Air is under US sanctions as of Oct. 2011, with the US government saying the company’s assets were “blockable”.
It comes at a time when national flag carrier IranAir is in the process of hammering down multi-billion dollar deals with Boeing and other major plane builders.
US lawmakers have repeatedly tried to scuttle the deals, but those efforts have gained momentum under the administration of President Donald Trump who has signaled a harsher approach than his predecessor toward Iran.
Last year, the US House voted to block financing for the aircraft sales to Iran and Republican lawmakers called on Trump to intervene.
Trump has ordered a review of a nuclear accord which the US reached with Iran along with France, Britain, Germany, China and Russia in 2015. During his election campaign, Trump repeatedly called the deal a “disaster,” vowing to tear it up and “double and triple up sanctions.”
While the US president has not gone ahead with that threat, he has presided over new sanctions being imposed on the Islamic Republic in breach of the nuclear agreement.
Boeing’s plan to sell commercial aircraft to Iran was part of the US compromise which led to the nuclear agreement but it has been bedeviled by numerous subversive measures.
Under the agreement, Boeing must supply IranAir some 80 passenger jets but US congressional moves to block it have cast a shadow over the fate of the deal.