Risky Business: Italy Third EU Country to Ban Iran’s Mahan Air

Following UANI Advocacy, Italy to Ban Mahan Air Beginning in December

For more than ten years, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) has warned governments around the world about the myriad of risks associated with doing business with Iran. In January, Germany became the first country to refuse to allow Iran’s terrorist-facilitating airline, Mahan Air, from landing at any German airport. France took similar action in March against Mahan Air, which has been used to transport Iranian weapons and fighters.

This week, Italy’s Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) provided fresh evidence of UANI’s successful approach when it announced a ban on Mahan Air from airports in Rome and Milan, starting in mid-December. The decision comes after multiple letters from UANI CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace to the Italian aviation governing body, urging it to follow the precedent sent by Germany and France. In August, ENAC acknowledged UANI’s efforts and responded that the organization “took good note” of UANI’s concerns and that they would be used in “relevant evaluations.”

There is more work to be done. UANI is presently working to persuade the Spanish government and its aviation authorities to take decisive action against Mahan Air’s ability to land within its borders. As part of the organization’s maximum pressure advocacy efforts, UANI has also contacted aviation authorities in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Greece, Malaysia, Russia, and Turkey – where Mahan Air still operates.

“UANI will continue to urge the Spanish government to act in the interest of safety and ban Mahan Air from landing in Barcelona or anywhere else in the country,” said Wallace. “Mahan Air is nothing more than a vehicle through which the Iranian regime exports fighters, weapons and operatives around the world. Mahan Air must be banned in its totality from Europe – enough is enough.”

Mahan Air has been sanctioned by the U.S. for supporting Iran’s foreign terrorist expeditionary force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force (IRGC-QF), and delivering Syria’s Bashar al-Assad the fighters and weapons used to subjugate his people. According to the U.S. Treasury, “Mahan Air is the airline of choice for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force, facilitating its support to terrorism across the Middle East. Mahan’s regular flights to Syria are used to prop up the Assad regime and deliver weapons, foreign fighters, and Iranian operatives who sow violence and unrest across the region.” The sanctions extend to any third parties that contract with the airline, posing a risk to European companies and individuals choosing to do business with it.

Worse still, Iran has been repeatedly implicated in the killing and attempted killing of European citizens on European soil. The Iranian regime controls Mahan Air in all but name, making the airline’s European flights a potentially serious threat to the safety and security of European citizens.