1112 GMT March 31, 2020
Entities that provide services for designated Iranian airlines, including financing, reservations and ticketing as well as procurement of aircraft parts, could be at risk of enforcement actions or economic sanctions from the US, the Treasury Department said in an advisory, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The US Treasury’s Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker said in a statement that the international civil aviation industry, including service providers like general sales agents, brokers, and title companies, need to be on high alert.
Sanctions are the key tool the United States uses against Iran as part of its “maximum pressure” policy and Mandelker is the one with her hand on the lever, Press TV reported.
The United States has been going after Iran’s cash flow and frozen assets for decades ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution and Mandelker has become the stewardess of the campaign.
She is one of the key figures eager to push the Iranians, designing the policy Trump’s administration hopes will force Iranian capitulation.
In February, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that the UN tribunal has jurisdiction to hear a claim by Iran to recover $1.75 billion in assets frozen by Washington, rejecting US objections.
Last year, The Hague-based court reprimanded the US over its reimposition of sanctions on Iran, ordering Washington to lift restrictive measures linked to humanitarian trade, food, medicine and civil aviation.
The ruling was a victory for Iran after it complained to the ICJ that the return to sanctions imposed by the US withdrawal from the nuclear agreement was in violation of the Treaty of Amity, a 1955 pre-revolutionary friendship treaty.
Iranian officials say the US is publicly propagating a policy intended to damage as severely as possible Iran’s economy and its national companies, and therefore Iranian nationals.
The advisory comes amid growing tensions between Iran and Western countries. Last week, Iranian forces seized a British-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz after Gibraltar seized a tanker which was carrying Iran’s oil.
The advisory highlighted Mahan Air, which was blacklisted by the US in 2011, alleging that the airline has a role in providing financial, material and technological support to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps’ Quds Force.
Since 2018, the United States has imposed economic sanctions on 11 entities and individuals for dealing with Mahan Air. The United States also designated Qeshm Fars Air, a commercial cargo airline controlled by Mahan Air, in early 2019.
The US Treasury revoked licenses for 200 passenger planes ordered by national flag carrier Iran Air from Airbus, Boeing and Franco-Italian turboprop maker ATR after President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Only 16 aircraft were delivered – 13 by ATR and three by Airbus – before the licenses were withdrawn.