Iran plans to take legal action against the United States if it would try to stop the international flights of the newly acquired Iranian passenger airplanes, according to the head of the country’s Civil Aviation Organization.
In May, Iran’s Mahan Air acquired eight second-hand Airbus A340 and one Airbus A321, which is a violation of U.S. sanctions. Last week, Fars News Agency reported that Iran plans to use the newly acquired airplanes for international flights.
Mahan Air had a “blockable interest” in the planes
The U.S. Treasury Department recently stated that Mahan Air had a “blockable interest” in the planes. The department’s statement indicates that the U.S. government could freeze and seize the planes at international airports outside Iran.
Alireza Jahangirian, head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization said the statement of the U.S. Treasury Department breaches international conventions on civil aviations.
Jahangirian said. “”America does not have the right to stop our planes on international trips … Under international laws, it is impossible to seize the new Iranian aircraft, but we have to see to what extent those laws are being implemented and which countries are trying to show their force to other states.”
He added, “As long as … a disruption has not taken place; we cannot make a definite assertion. But if it happens, Iran will take legal action.”
According to him, the newly acquired planes will join Iran’s aviation fleet after receiving flight permits over the next few weeks. It was previously reported that the A340 planes will start flying from Tehran to Dubai and Istanbul. Iran will also use the planes for long-haul routes.
In October 2011, the United States imposed sanctions against Mahan Air, the second carrier of Iran. Washington also sanctioned two aviation companies in Iraq and UAE for selling the airplanes to Iran.
Iran is trying to modernize its aviation fleet
Mahan Air and Iran Air are working together to rebuild the country’s aging commercial fleet, which suffered a series of aviation misfortunes amid the sanctions of the United States and the European, and the United Nations due to its nuclear program.
According to Ascend, an aviation consultancy firm in Britain, Iran has 189 active passenger airplanes. The country’s airplanes have an average age of 22 years. Iran has 76 in storage with an average age of 24 years. Jahangirian said Iran needs to acquire as much as 500 commercial airplanes to modernize its fleet over the next ten years.