An Israeli official accused Washington of permitting Tehran to breach economic sanctions, saying that Israel flagged the issue but the US did nothing about it.
By: Atara Beck, World Israel News
A senior Israeli official criticized the United States on Tuesday for allowing Iran’s purchase of civilian aircraft, a violation of sanctions on the Islamic Republic, Reuters reports.
Iranian Transport Minister Abbas Akhoondi said last Monday that Tehran had bought 15 used commercial planes from undisclosed sources over the course of the last three months, Reuters reported. The sanctions on Iran restrict sales of planes.
“Israel learned from intelligence sources about this very significant breach of the Iran sanctions in advance of it occurring,” the anonymous Israeli official told Reuters. “We flagged the issue to the US administration.… Unfortunately, the deal still went through and there was no success in preventing it.”
In response, a US State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters, “If there is sanction-able activity, we will take action.”
Iranian state news agencies reported earlier this month that Iran’s Mahan Air, an airline blacklisted by the US, purchased nine used Airbus aircraft. The seller was not identified.
Sanctions on Iran Collapsing
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stated in April that sanctions imposed by the West on Tehran’s economy are on the verge of complete collapse and that no country would ever again have the power to exert pressure on the Islamic Republic.
The P5+1 powers and Iran have not yet arrived at a final agreement regarding Iran’s nuclear program, but sanctions on Iran are in fact collapsing.
Russia decided earlier in April to lift the ban on the sale of the advanced S-300 missile air defense system to Iran.
Following the Kremlin’s announcement on the weapons sales, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, confirmed statements by a Russian diplomat that Moscow was already supplying Iran with various goods in exchange for oil. Peskov claimed this trade was not barred under the sanctions order imposed by the UN Security Council.
Reports have been circulating regarding European businessmen lining up to go to Iran to establish ties with corporations the moment that sanctions are officially lifted.