Germany to revoke licence of Iran airline over suspected covert ops

21.01.2019

Germany's Federal Aviation Office (LBA) is to revoke the licence of Iranian airline Mahan Air this week over suspected links to covert operations by the Iranian secret service, local media reported on Monday.

German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung and public broadcasters NDR and WDR reported the news, saying the move is related to assassinations allegedly carried out by the Iranian secret service in Europe and plans to commit further such attacks.

Mahan Air currently conducts four flights to Germany per week, including three to Dusseldorf and one to Munich.

Asked for comment on the plan to revoke the airline's licence, the German Foreign Ministry said it generally does not provide information about "internal political planning processes".

According to the report, Mahan Air has been on a U.S. sanctions list since 2011 and Washington has been lobbying its allies for several years to revoke the airline's licences.

Last week, German authorities arrested a German army employee named only as Abdul Hamid S on suspicion of spying on behalf of Iran, a claim that Tehran has denied.

Tehran has frequently accused its arch-enemies Israel and the United States of wanting to sabotage the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and the country's improved relationship with the EU, especially with Britain, France and Germany.    (dpa)

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