Aeolian Airlines


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"Nineteen people and companies in Europe and Asia acted as middlemen for Iranian airline Mahan Air, helping it procure supplies from the United States in violation of U.S. sanctions, the U.S. Commerce Department said on Wednesday. The regulatory notice from the department posted online provided further insight into the operations of Mahan Air, a commercial airline that the United States has accused of providing funds and transport for Iran's elite forces and flying weapons to Syria. The notice charged that the middlemen 'engaged in the development and operation of an illicit aviation procurement network designed to evade the U.S. government's sanctions against Iran.' A majority of the companies and people are based in Turkey, and others are in Armenia, Greece, Iran, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. They included Greece's Aeolian Airlines and Armenia's Vertir Airlines, both small charter firms. The Commerce Department added the firms to its 'Entity List,' which largely prohibits them from buying restricted items from the United States, such as aircraft engines or spare parts…Commerce first blacklisted Mahan Air in 2008, after it found the company imported three Boeing Co 747 jumbo jets into Iran without U.S. authorization. Britain's Balli Group Plc later paid $2 million in criminal fines and $15 million in civil fines tied to the same charges. Mahan Air later continued to violate U.S. export laws, trying to find ways to obtain aircraft, engines and computer motherboards from the United States, according to previous Commerce notices. The Treasury Department has also accused Mahan Air of ferrying troops, equipment and weapons to support the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria's civil war." (Reuters, "U.S. says firms helped Iranian airline skirt sanctions," 12/11/13)