Germany bans Iranian airline over European attacks

Germany’s federal aviation agency suspended the license of Mahan Air, which Israel has accused of transporting advanced weapons from Iran to Syria.

By World Israel News Staff

Germany banned Iranian airline Mahan Air from operating in the country. The U.S. banned the carrier back in 2011 for providing technical and material support to the Quds Force, a brigade operated by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

Mahan Air operated three flights a week from Tehran to Düsseldorf and Munich. It’s permit was revoked with immediate effect on Monday, according to reports.

Although Germany was under U.S. pressure to ban the airline, “The German decision is based on our own consideration of our security interests,” a German spokesman said, according to The Wall Street Journal. Mahan Air could potentially transport cargo or people posing a security threat to Germany, the spokesman said, the Journal reported.

Richard A. Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, praised the decision. “Today, after months of pressing, the German government took action against Mahan Air to deny them landing rights in Germany. Mahan Air is an airline no country should feel safe letting land on its soil,” he said.

Germany’s move arrives as the European Union adopts sanctions against the Islamic Republic after uncovering attacks planned on the soil of member states by the Muslim country. These include recently exposed operations in France, the Netherlands, and Denmark.

Also in response, the EU has frozen assets of Iran’s intelligence ministry and various officials implicated in the plots.

Recently, Israeli defense officials flagged Mahan as one of the cargo carriers it suspects of transporting weapons from Iran to Syria. On Sunday, flight data indicated that one of Mahan’s daily flights to Syria abruptly reversed course after reports of Israeli strikes near Damascus, according to the Times of Israel.

The report about Mahan surfaces one week after German authorities announced the arrest of a German-Afghan military adviser suspected of spying for Iran.

In addition to its activities in Syria, Iran is also the primary benefactor of the world’s largest and richest terror groups, including Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which also oversees a massive narcotics trafficking and money laundering operation.