Iran News ...


11/28/11

Iran Air Bypasses IATA Sanctions

Source: Fars News Agency

Managing Director of Iran's national air carrier, Iran Air (Homa), Farhad Parvaresh said the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has been pressured by the US to impose tight sanctions on Iran, but Tehran has managed to bypass such embargoes on its air industry.


Related Report: U.S. Sanctions Iran's National Airline

Speaking to FNA on Monday, Parvaresh referred to his meeting with IATA Director-General Tony Tyler, and said, "The IATA director-general admitted in this meeting that following the US treasury department's directive (for the different bodies inside the US), they were also forced to impose sanctions against Homa" although IATA is an international organization and not a part of the US administration.

IATA is an international trade body, created over 60 years ago by a group of airlines. Today, IATA represents some 230 airlines comprising 93% of scheduled international air traffic. The organization also represents, leads and serves the airline industry in general.

He blasted IATA's double-standard behavior towards different countries, and said IATA which claims to be a non-political entity has now made a political move by imposing US-dictated sanctions against Iran.

Meantime, Parvaresh downplayed effectiveness of such sanctions, and said Iran Air has found certain ways to bypass the sanctions and is changing its contracts with the international airline companies.

The US has adopted a range of sanctions against Iran's aviation industry and forced the western countries and firms to comply with its rules. It had earlier imposed a boycott on the supply of spare parts and another boycott on the supply of jet fuel to Iranian passenger planes.

But Iran has always managed to go round these sanctions. Earlier this year, Parvaresh downplayed the effects of fuel sanctions against the Iranian airliners, and said his airline is conducting flights on a routine basis and western restrictions have been unable to disrupt Iran Air flights.

Parvaresh further pointed out that although 13 European destinations refuse to supply jet fuel to Iranian airliners due to the US pressures, his airline has not stopped any of its international flights.

"Although western pressures against the Islamic Republic aviation industry in the last 30 years have increased some costs for the Iranian airlines, they have also caused a boost in the capability of the country's aerial specialists", the official added.

Iran started hiking up its jet fuel production capacity after US President Barack Obama signed into law the toughest ever US sanctions on Iran aimed at choking off Tehran's access to imports of refined petroleum products like jet fuel and curbing its access to the international banking system.

After the endorsement of the legislation, Obama in hostile remarks said that the measures, which came on top of new UN Security Council and European sanctions, showed "we are striking at the heart of the Iranian government's ability to fund and develop its nuclear programs".

In July, the European Union closed its airspace to most of Iran Air's jets just four days after the US imposed the most comprehensive package of sanctions on Tehran.

The EU decision came after BP stopped selling aviation fuel to Iran Air. The company said it was complying with the new US rules that impose penalties on any international company supplying Iran with refined petroleum products.

But Iran's self-sufficiency in jet fuel production made Washington's plots fall flat.

On July 12, Iran's Deputy Oil Minister and former Head of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC) Alireza Zeighami told FNA that "We are prepared to export jet fuel to the neighboring states".

He stressed that Iran "is not faced with any problem in the production and storage of jet fuel", and played down the recent boycott imposed by certain western states on the supply of jet fuel to Iran and Iranian planes.

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