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Venezuela’s flag carrier Conviasa starts weekly flights to Iran

Venezuela’s Conviasa airline launches weekly flights between Caracas and Tehran.

Venezuela’s flag carrier airline Conviasa has launched weekly flights between Caracas and the Iranian capital Tehran amid growing political and economic relations between two countries that have resisted US sanctions for the past years.

A spokesman of Iran’s largest international airport IKAC said that a first planned Conviasa flight from Caracas to Tehran had landed in the airport near the Iranian capital at midday on Sunday.

Javad Salehi said that senior government officials from Iran and Venezuela, including an Iranian deputy president, attended a ceremony to inaugurate the flight route.

Salehi said Conviasa will fly from Caracas to Tehran once weekly at midday Sundays local Iranian time and will return to Caracas at 2.45 AM on Tuesdays.

The flights come less than two months after a visit by Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro to Iran in which he signed major documents for expanding economic and political ties between the two countries.

Iran and Venezuela have cooperated closely in recent years to defuse sanctions imposed by the United States on the two nations.

Iran has supplied fuel and refinery equipment as well as crude oil shipments to Venezuela to help the country cope with the impacts of the US sanctions on its oil industry.  

Washington has sought to stifle the growing partnership between Iran and Venezuela through enforcing new sanctions or pressuring its allies to confiscate shipments exchanged between Tehran and Caracas.

A plane formerly owned by Iran’s Mahan Airlines and sold to Conviasa’s subsidiary Emtrasur Cargo was stopped in Argentina on June 12 while carrying Iranian aviation instructors.

Iranian authorities warned Argentina on July 19 that Buenos Aires will face consequences if it further delays the release of the Iranian crew of the Venezuelan plane.

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