Mahan Air rejects allegations behind US sanctions

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Iranian carrier Mahan Air has vehemently denied being linked to governmental or military agencies, after the US Treasury imposed sanctions on the Tehran-based carrier.

Mahan Air has protested the decision which, it said, is designed to exert political pressure on the Iranian government but will "instead have a direct adverse effect on the safety and security of the people of Iran".

The carrier said it has already struggled to overcome "inequitable and unfair circumstances" created by sanctions on Iran.

Mahan is a "fully private" company, it added, with its shares held either directly by, or on trust for, a Kerman-based organisation known as the Mow-lal-Movahhedin Charity Institute.

"It does not belong to any governmental or military bodies or to any political party or individuals," said the carrier.

"Mahan Air has used its best endeavours to develop the country's aviation industry with the aim of improving the welfare and safety of its fellow citizens."

It insisted it will "use all its available resources to overcome the obstacles being put before it" and seek support from international organisations to "defend its reputation".

The carrier operates Airbus A300 and A310 twinjets, as well as Boenig 747s, and has been at the centre of a court case in London which revolves around a complex attempt to acquire three 747-400s.

These aircraft were previously operated by United Airlines but were sold during a period while the carrier was under Chapter 11 protection.