By Ayhan Simsek
Germany has banned Iran’s Mahan Air from operating flights in and out of the country, officials said on Monday.
Deputy foreign ministry spokesman Christofer Burger told a news conference in Berlin 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”.
The U.S. administration has long pressured Germany to sanction Mahan Air, claiming that it was used by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards for military purposes.
U.S. ambassador Richard Grenell, a close ally of President Donald Trump, has welcomed Berlin’s move.
“Iran’s Mahan Air is shut down in Germany, immediately. Thank you to the German government for their leadership,” he tweeted.