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Germany bans Iran's Mahan airlines over spying claims

Last Modified Tuesday, 22 January 2019 (10:43 IST)
Berlin: The German government banned Iran's Mahan air from operating flights in the country following US allegations that its aircraft transported weapons and fighters to Syria, the foreign ministry said on Monday, after heavy US pressure on Berlin to act.
The US  administration has long pressured to sanction Mahan Air, claiming that it was used by Iran's Revolutionary Guards for military purposes. Mahan Air which operates three flights from Tehran to D?sseldorf and Munich, had its permit revoked by the German government with immediate effect on Monday, reports The Wall Street Journal.
 
Deputy foreign ministry spokesman Christofer Burger said that the decision was taken to protect "foreign policy and security interests" of Germany.
 
"Mahan Air is transporting military equipment and people to various conflict zones in the Middle East, especially to Syria," Burger said, adding that Germany viewed Iran's "destabilizing activities" in the region as "unacceptable".
 
Meanwhile, US ambassador Richard Grenell has welcomed Berlin's move and tweeted " Iran's Mahan Air is shut down in Germany, immediately. Thank you to the German government for their leadership.On January 15, German police arrested an Afghan-German man on suspicion of passing military secrets to Iran.
 
In August last year, the Deutsche Bundesbank? the country's central bank? imposed a rule stopping of a $400 million cash delivery to Tehran.Also, in October last year Danish security officials accused Iranian intelligence of planning to carry out assassinations against Iranian Arab dissidents on Danish soil, in an alleged plot that is likely to ratchet up tensions between and Europe. (UNI)
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