US blocks Adria jet sale

Politics halts A320 sale
The United States has given a stern warning to Adria Airways not to sell its Airbus A320 to the Iranian airline Yas Air, the “Demokracija” weekly reports. The airline, which previously operated under the name, Pars Aviation Services Company, has been blacklisted by a United Nations Security Council Resolution in June 2010 where it brands the carrier as a “company involved in nuclear or ballistic missile activities”. The measure was introduced to put pressure on Iran against pursuing its controversial nuclear plans. Iran insists its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes only. Furthermore, it is believed that members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard used Pars Aviation jets for training. Allegedly, the airline changed its name to bypass the Security Council Resolution.

Part of the non paper from the United States to the Slovenian government reads, “We request that you freeze any Yas Air assets and prevent or stop the transaction between Adria Airways and Yas Air. We would appreciate any information you can provide and any actions you take with regard to this matter”. The Slovenian government cordially obliged and blocked the sale of the Airbus A320 (registered S5-AAS) as Yas Air was supposed to take delivery of the jet last month at Tehran Mehrabad Airport.

Adria, which is looking to reduce its debt, has grounded the A320 in question. It has been stripped of its livery and is sitting at Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport, waiting for a new owner to be found.

It is not the first time this year that a former Yugoslav state has been warned of its dealings with Iran. Earlier in the year, the United States warned Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport against refuelling Iran Air jets which were flying from Western Europe to Tehran. The technical stop was introduced since oil companies at airports such as London Heathrow and Vienna refused to refuel Iran Air jets for its return voyage to Tehran. The airport, which made significant profit out of its arrangement, obliged with the request and terminated its contract with Iran Air. In June the United States issued an advisory to all airports in Europe to stop refuelling all Iran Air jets.


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