Iran says it will take legal action against the US if Washington tries to block new Iranian passenger aircraft on international journeys.
The US government has declared that the assets of Mahan Air which flew the nine used Airbus jets to Iran last month are “blockable”, raising fears of having them seized at international airports.
Head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) Alireza Jahangirian said the US Treasury Department’s statement contravenes international conventions on civil aviation.
The official said the first of the eight A340s and one A321 will become operational in the country’s aviation fleet in the coming weeks after receiving flight permit.
Jahangirian said while the US did not have the right to block them on international trips, Iran should prepare itself for any eventuality, the ISNA news agency reported.
“Under international laws, it is impossible to seize the new Iranian aircraft but we have to see to what extent those laws are being implemented and which countries are trying to show their force to other states,” Jahangirian said.
“As long as flight permits have not been issued and a disruption has not taken place, we cannot make a definite assertion. But if that happens, Iran will take a legal action,” he added.
Mahan Air is under US sanctions as of Oct. 2011. The US also imposed sanctions on two aviation companies based in Iraq and the UAE for reportedly selling the commercial aircraft to Iran.
Mahan Air is Iran’s second carrier, and along with flag carrier Iran Air, is working to rebuild the country’s aging commercial fleet which has suffered a series of aviation mishaps under US and European sanctions.
Jahangirian has said Iran needed to buy up to 500 passenger planes in the next 10 years to renovate its fleet.