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06 Jul 2010 09:58No Comments
IranAirAmsterdam.jpgFurther restrictions on Iran Air in new EU blacklist

Telegraph | July 6, 2010

All except 23 of the Tehran-based carrier's 64 aircraft are now banned from entering EU airspace.

A Transport Commission spokeswoman denied that the move was related to UN sanctions imposed against Iran because of its nuclear programme. She said that the restrictions were extended after a safety audit by the European Aviation Safety Agency revealed that the airline was unable to properly maintain its Boeing 747, 727 and Airbus A320 aircraft.

"We deal purely with safety requirements," she added. "Our controls focus entirely on safety, nothing else."

Iran: Reports of planes denied refuelling are 'false'

AFP | July 6, 2010

Iran said on Tuesday that claims made by some Iranian officials that its passenger planes were being denied refuelling by airports in Britain, Germany and the United Arab Emirates are "false."

"The refuelling of our planes is continuing," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters.

"That information is false," he said when asked to confirm reports that airports in Britain, Germany and the UAE had denied refuelling Iranian passenger planes as part of unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States.

On Monday, Mehdi Aliyari, secretary of the Iranian Airlines Union, was quoted by the ISNA news agency as saying that Iranian planes were being refused refuelling at airports in the three countries.

"Since last week, after the passing of the unilateral law by America and the sanctions against Iran, airports in England, Germany, the UAE have refused to give fuel to Iranian planes," Aliyari said, adding that operations of national carrier Iran Air and private airliner Mahan Air had already been affected.

Several Iranian lawmakers warned in response that Tehran should take retaliatory action and stop refuelling planes from the three countries concerned which land in Iran.

In responding to West, Iran stresses its naval abilities in Persian Gulf

WaPo | July 6, 2010

Inspections of Iranian vessels by the United States and its allies in accordance with a new U.N. sanctions regime could worsen tensions in the Persian Gulf, Iranian leaders and commanders have warned in recent days.

"Anybody who insists on implementing [searches] will regret them very harshly," President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said June 28, echoing avowals by other senior Iranian officials that inspections would not go unanswered.

The resolution adopted last month by the U.N. Security Council calls on states to allow inspections of ships on the high seas if there "are reasonable grounds" to believe they are carrying weapons or other banned materials, a request Iran would reject as a violation of its sovereignty, analysts said. A similar U.N. provision that was passed last year to encourage the boarding of North Korean vessels has not led to a single interdiction of banned cargo on the high seas. But it has led to the seizure of North Korean weapons at foreign ports, according to a U.N. monitoring panel.

The prospect of inspections has led several key Iranian officials to emphasize their country's growing clout in the Persian Gulf -- the likeliest theater for countermeasures, Iranian commanders say.

Canadian guilty of bid to send Iran nuclear material

AFP | July 6, 2010

A Canadian court found a Toronto man guilty on Tuesday of attempting to export nuclear-related materials to Iran in violation of sanctions, prosecutors said.

Mahmoud Yadegari, 36, was convicted in the Ontario Court of Justice of nine criminal and customs charges for attempting last year to ship pressure transducers to Iran via Dubai, said the Public Prosecution Service of Canada.

The items, manufactured in the United States, can be used in nuclear power plants but are also required to produce nuclear weapons. They are subject to a UN embargo on nuclear exports to Iran and are on Canada's export control list.

Yadegari was arrested in April 2009 for failing to obtain required permits to export the so-called "dual use" items the month before.

In October 2009, a senior Canadian customs official warned that Iran was attempting to acquire clandestine shipments via Canada for its nuclear program after authorities seized everything from centrifuge parts to programmable logic controllers being shipped to the Middle East nation through third countries.

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