Almost a month after Iran saw a series of nuclear-related economic sanctions lifted, new indications show certain segments of the Iranian economy still remain shut out in what could be a violation of the nuclear deal that the country reached with the P5+1 last summer.
The US Treasury Department is reportedly warning European countries and companies to shut out a leading sanctioned Iranian airline – Mahan Air – or risk US retaliation.
"Treasury is engaging closely with stakeholders around the world, including our partners in Europe, regarding our sanctions targeting Iran," a Treasury official told Al-Monitor. "Regarding Mahan Air specifically, we are doing this by working with our partners to prevent Mahan Air from acquiring aircraft and aircraft parts and software, preventing the opening of new routes and working to get existing routes canceled."
Certain economic sanctions against Iran were lifted in mid-January when a deal that the country had reached with the P5+1 – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – was implemented.
A central sector that saw the sanctions lifted was Iran’s aviation industry and a lucrative contract that the country later signed with Airbus over the purchase of planes clearly testified to that.
Even before the JCPOA was implemented, US President Barack Obama ordered to lift a decades-long ban on the sales of planes to Iran.
The Treasury official – who has not been named by Al-Monitor – has emphasized that the JCPOA "does not preclude us from designating any entities that support Mahan Air or facilitate its activities."
Iranian officials are yet to react to this.
Mahan Air, which isn't sanctioned by the European Union, currently operates flights to Milan, Athens, the German cities of Dusseldorf and Munich, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and several other destinations in the Middle East and Asia. Mahan Air had announced that flights to Copenhagen, Denmark, were to start next month but the route opening was discreetly delayed last month.