Press TV - Iran's Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) has slammed the unilateral US sanctions against the country's civil aviation as an 'act against humanity.'
Speaking to Press TV, CAO spokesman Reza Jafarzadeh said on Saturday that "Although these sanctions have resulted in the development of Iranian specialists, nevertheless, this act by the US is against humanity and contrary to all international conventions."
In recent years Iran has faced a high number of tragic plane crashes
Jafarzadeh explained that the sanctions "imposed after 1979 Islamic Revolution deposed the pro-US monarchy" were imposed on the pretext of punishing or influencing the Iranian government.
However, he explained that, instead of hurting the government, which has remained steadfast in its policies, the sanctions have harmed the civilians who have been paying the price, by having to fly in ancient aircraft, with a shortage of spare parts.
"It is not only Iranians who fly on Iranian airlines. People from all over the world -- Asia, Africa, Europe and even the USA -- fly on Iran's domestic and international flights. Yet, because of the US sanctions, they are content with old aircraft, without the latest safety features," said Jafarzadeh.
"Furthermore, the sanctions have damaged Boeing, which used to be main source of aircraft for Iran's flag carrier, Iran Air."
"The US government has not thought carefully about the consequences of this act," he elaborated.
Jafarzadeh revealed that, in order to show Iran's good faith and at the request of the large Iranian diaspora in the US, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had ordered the CAO in 2006 to arrange for direct flights from Iran to the US.
In the 1970's, Iran Air operated a non-stop flight from Tehran to New York, with its extra-long-range Boeing 747SP aircraft.
The airline still maintains these venerable aircraft in its fleet and could operate the same route again.
The CAO contacted the US authorities through appropriate channels, but, after more than 3 years, Washington has not responded to the request, he added.
Although, as Jafarzadeh says, the sanctions have made Iran more self-reliant in maintaining and overhauling wide-body aircraft such as the Boeing 747, aircraft have limited life-spans and they cannot be operated for ever and a fleet renewal is long overdue.
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