Why Germany's decision to shut down Iran's Mahan Air is a major step against terror

Why Germany's decision to shut down Iran's Mahan Air is a major step against terror

2019/01/25 | 10:10 - Source: Baghdad Post

(ThisDay | Iraq News Now)-

Richard Grenell

To safeguard its own national security, the German

government took the decisive step Monday, January 21, to deny future landing

rights to the Iranian airline Mahan Air, which had operated multiple weekly

flights to the Munich and Düsseldorf airports.

We applaud the government’s

decision, which rightly recognizes the airline’s role in enabling the Iranian

regime’s support for terrorist proxies serving the Assad regime and spreading

violence and terror across the region – with direct effects on European

security.Monday’s announcement was a resolute decision to protect

Germans and Europeans, but also to stand with the displaced people of Syria.

This decision denies support to the Assad regime, and deals a blow to Iran’s

support for regional terror organizations, including Hezbollah.Mahan Air’s continued ability to operate around the globe

gives the airline false legitimacy.

It draws attention away from Mahan’s

unwavering support for its most loyal customer -- Iran’s Revolutionary Guard

Corps-Quds Force (IRGC-QF), which the European Union has described as “Tehran’s

principal foreign policy tool for special operations and support to terrorists

and Islamic militants abroad.”Iran’s support for the Assad regime has created chaos in the

region and beyond, contributing greatly to the vast flows of refugees who look

to Europe to find refuge from mass atrocities, indiscriminate bombing, and

chemical weapon attacks perpetrated by the brutal regime in Damascus.There is no doubt Mahan Air has transported IRGC-QF fighters

and material to support the Assad regime and its brutal acts against the Syrian


Mahan Air has also regularly flown IRGC-QF operatives, weapons,

equipment, and funds to international locations to support Iranian terrorist

proxy groups.

For example, the airline has been used by the IRGC-QF to fly

personnel to and from Iran and Syria for military training, facilitating the

covert travel of IRGC-QF members through its regular “commercial” flights to

Damascus from Iran.

Mahan Air’s relationship with the IRGC-QF demonstrates yet

again how the IRGC has broadly infiltrated Iran’s commercial sector – and shows

clearly the undeniable risk of doing business with Iranian entities.Mahan Air continues to play a critical role in exporting the

Iranian regime’s malign influence throughout the region.

It is complicit in

facilitating state-sponsored terrorism.The United States fully supports Germany’s leadership on

this issue, and calls on other nations to end Mahan Air’s access to foreign


The United States sanctioned Mahan Air in 2011 for providing

financial, material and technological support to the IRGC-QF.

We hope the EU

will now enact its own sanctions on Mahan Air.Recent events in Europe, including in Germany, have shown

that Iran does not respect international law nor European governments.


last year Iranian intelligence operative Asadullah Assadi was arrested in

Germany for his involvement in a planned assassination in Paris.Recent sanctions by the EU against Iranian agents planning

terror attacks in Europe, as well as the Directorate for Internal Security of

the Iranian Ministry for Intelligence and Security, show that this behavior will

no longer be accepted.

The January 15 arrest of a suspected Iranian informant

working for the Bundeswehr shows Iran’s disregard for German interests and its

single-minded determination to continue spreading its malign network throughout

Europe in an attempt to perpetuate terror and assassinations of political

dissidents.Iran’s use of commercial entities such as Mahan Air to

perpetuate terror and violence will be greatly inhibited by Germany’s decision.

This announcement by the government of Germany sends a clear message:  Iran must end its support of terror and

destabilizing behavior in the Middle East, Europe, and around the globe.

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