Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Jan. 28, 2019 - Just a few days ago, Germany announced that Iranian airline Mahan Air is no longer allowed to enter German airspace. In response, the Iranian regime’s minister of roads and urban development Mohammad Eslami said, “All the companies and airline industry of the Islamic Republic are sanctioned, and Mahan Air is among them.”
On January 21, Reuters quoted German sources that Mahan Air’s license for flying to German has been canceled. According to Reuters, the German federal government cited “safety problems” and the possibility of Iranian use of Mahan Air for “military purposes” as the reasons for its decision.
In a January 21 meeting between EU foreign ministers, German FM Heiko Maas said that Iranian Mahan Air transports weapons and soldiers to war-torn areas in Syria.
In a separate statement, German foreign ministry announced, “this decision has been taken in light of the recent sanctions agreed upon by the EU Council after the [terroristic] developments in France and Denmark.”
In June last year, the Iranian intelligence ministry plotted a failed attempt to plant a bomb in a grand gathering by the Iranian Resistance. At least three Iranians were arrested in connection with the attack, one of them an Iranian diplomat named Asadollah Assadi, from the Iranian regime’s embassy in Vienna, Austria.
Considering the recent developments, the foreign commission of the National Council of Resistance of Iran published a detailed report of Mahan Airs past record and its connections with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
Mahan Air, while registered as a private company, has had vast links to the highest levels of Iranian officials from day one and has benefited a semi-official status of state-sponsorship throughout its life.
The Mola Almowaheddin institute, which describes itself as a charity, owns 100 percent of Mahan Air’s stock.
Mahan Air was founded in the city of Kerman, the capital of Kerman province in Iran. Mahan is the name of a small city 35 kilometers from Kerman. Ata’ollah Mohajerani, the minister of culture and guidance during the presidency of Mohammad Khatami, chose the name for Mahan Air.
Mahan Air was founded shortly after the Quds Force, IRGC’s foreign terrorist arm, was established.
Virtually all Mahan Air’s decision makers and major players are members of the IRGC and commanders of Qassem Soleimani’s Quds Force. A short list of some of them follows:
- Hamid Arabnejad, chairman and CEO of Mahan Air, is a very close friend to Qassem Soleimani
- Hamid Aslani, currently advisor to Hamid Arabnejad, is a Brigadier general of the IRGC. He is a former member of IRGC’s SWAT teams and later became head of the human resources in IRGC. At the same time, he became the HR head of Mahan Air.
- Hamid Asgari, heads Mahan Air’s catering through a company named Arman. Formerly, he was one of the commanders of IRGC’s 41st division, known as the Tharallah Division. He is close to Qassem Soleimani.
Through connections in the highest levels of Iraq’s government, particularly Hadi Al-Amiri, former Iraqi minister of transportation and head of the Badr Organization, Qassem Soleimani organized Mahan Air’s flights over Iraqi airspace to transport weapons and equipment to Syria.
On a daily basis, Mahan Air conducts flights from Tehran, Mashhad, Isfahan, Shiraz, and Abadan to Damascus over Iraq to transport weapons, equipment and fighters to aid the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
In groups of approximately 200 individuals each, Mahan Air transports militias, including Afghan nationals who have been hired by IRGC, to Damascus.
Iraqi militias affiliated with the Quds Force, are transported from Iraq’s Basra to Iran’s Abadan by bus, and from there flown to Damascus by Mahan Air.