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Esfandyar Batmanghelidj @yarbatman
, 7 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
1. In May, the US Treasury sanctioned the company that operates #Iran's presidential aircraft. Rouhani is flying to Europe today ahead of official visits to Switzerland + Austria. Will the recent sanctions designation have any impact on his journey?…
2. Here is the story on the sanctions designation of Dena Airways and several Iranian aircraft in May. Notably, the presidential aircraft, an A340 with registration number EP-DAA, was not itself sanctioned.…
3. Still, the A340 has a new registration. At some point in June, EP-DAA became EP-IGA, a tail number from an old Iran Air 737 that is now a museum piece. The change in registration was spurred by a change in operator. The A340 is back with Meraj Airways, as it was until Nov 2017
4. It's unclear why they would switch back from Dena--Meraj is also a sanctioned entity. Another Meraj aircraft, an A321 with tail number EP-IDG, will also arrive in Zurich at 13:45. EP-IGA, is notably listed as an "Air Force" flight and arrives a couple hours later. HT @zrhspot
5. The arrivals in Zurich are an interesting test case for the impact of SDN-listings on Iranian operated flights to Europe. Surely there would have been coordination with the Swiss government for official aircraft, but the sanctions risks remain the same for service providers.
6. Iran Air is going to be SDN-listed in November when Trump's reimposes sanctions lifted as part of the nuclear deal. So a similar challenge will face Iran Air's civilians flights as is facing Rouhani's plane today. The accommodation of EP-IGA/EP-IDG is therefore a case study.
7. It is also worth noting that Iran's Mahan Airlines is presently SDN-listed, but continues to operates flights into Europe. So clearly there are ways to make this work, especially with European political support. This is a space to watch.
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