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U.S. Sanctions Could Impact Iranian Airlines

With the sanctions being reapplied for Iran due to the United States pulling out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Iranian economy is about take another hit. One of the ways that the Iranian economy is going to be impacted is its airline industry. Foreign airports are expected to be denied fuel to airplanes belonging to Iranian airlines, as part of the sanctions that will be put back into place from the U.S.

The news of the refuel denials was released by the chief executive officer of Iran Air, Farzaneh Sharafbafi, during a meeting meant to address the frequent delays of Iranian flights. The average age of the Iranian fleet is approximately 24 years. Sharafbafi also noted that the conditions of the civilian air industry were better in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other regional neighbors.

The industry in Iran has not received much support from the regime, and the reintroduction of sanctions is likely to make the situation even worse. New sanctions are also going to impact the ability of Iran Air to get parts for their fleet. To refuel, the airline will have to pay in cash. Over the past two years, the Iranian regime has been in talks with major airplane manufacturers, both to renovate the aging fleet, but to also improve the airline’s performance as the planes are replaced with newer models. However, with the end of the U.S. involvement in the JCPOA, the airline is left with few options to address its critical needs.

Iran had signed major contracts to buy 118 commercial planes from Airbus, 100 from Boeing, and several ATR turboprops. Those contracts are on hold now and the new sanctions are discouraging these aircraft manufacturers to work with Iran Air and the Islamic regime.

Earlier this year, the U.S. suspended the export privileges of a Turkish national and three related companies, because they bought American-made aircraft parts to then give to Iranian airlines, which was a violation of sanctions that were in place.

In May, the U.S. Treasury Department announced on Thursday new sanctions connected to Iran that targeted its airlines, particularly Mahan Air and Meraj Air. Similar measures were also taken against five Iranians who were connected with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and their Qods Force in late May. As a result, the Iranian regime is being hit in all sectors with sanctions, both renewals and new ones. For those related to these industries, the impact is going to make a difficult situation even worse.

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