Iran: Qatar Airways to continue operating flights despite US sanctions

Qatar’s national carrier, Qatar Airways, has announced it will continue flying to Iran despite US sanctions and threats by the Trump administration.

“Aviation is not a sanctioned industry, Qatar Airways will continue to operate into the cities we are currently operating in Iran,” said Monday the airline CEO Akbar al-Baker.

“Our flights to Iran will not be affected,” he added.

Qatar Airways operates flights to the Iranian capital Tehran and to two other cities namely Mashhad and Shiraz.

Donald Trump’s administration in August reinstated sanctions on Iran following its May withdrawal from the 2015 multinational nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

Trump asked foreign companies to choose between doing business with Iran and doing business with his country.

Washington is expected to introduce a second batch of punitive measures early next month with a target on Iranian oil.

Trump’s threats have scared many foreign companies, prompting them to pull out from Iran or scrape businesses with Tehran.

In this connection, Air France and British Airways announced they were suspending flights to and from Iran.

Ties between Iran and Qatar have strengthened since last year in June after Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt cut off ties with Doha over its friendly ties with Tehran and alleged support for terrorism.

Qatar has squarely denied the charges.

The quartet imposed a sea/air/ground blockade on the tiny gas-rich country. Doha turned to Tehran and Ankara to circumvent the blockade.

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