Iran’s Mahan Air launches direct flights to Venezuela

File Reuters

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Iran’s private carrier, Iran’s Mahan Air, launched military transfers to Middle Eastern war zones on Monday for direct flights to Venezuela, at a time when Tehran is expressing support for Caracas against the US-backed opposition.

The air route began operating in the early hours of Monday morning, the official IRNA news agency quoted Reza Jafarzadeh, spokesman for Iran’s civil aviation authority, as saying, adding that the plane would take Foreign Ministry officials to Caracas.

Jafarzadeh said a delegation from Mahan Air would also travel to Caracas to discuss regular flights between the two countries.

The non-stop direct flight between Tehran and Caracas will take 16 hours.

Established in 1992 as the first private Iranian airline, Mahan Air has the largest aircraft fleet in the country.

France and Germany banned the company earlier this year, accusing it of transporting military personnel and equipment to Syria and other war zones in the region.

The United States imposed sanctions on the company in 2011, saying it had provided financial and other support to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Iran has expressed support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, whom the United States is demanding to step down. Russia, China and Turkey also supported Maduro.

The US government and most Latin American countries have recognized opposition leader Juan Guido as interim president of Venezuela. European governments have also weighed heavily behind Guido, albeit with greater caution.

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