Iran claims airliners were denied fuel

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The government of Iran is accusing companies such as BP of denying Iranian passenger airliners fuel. Iran has vowed to retaliate.
Image: Wikimedia Commons.

Iran said today that passenger airliners operated by Iranian airlines Iran Air and Mahan Air were being denied fuel at airports in Europe and the Middle East.

According to an official at the Iranian Airlines Union, Mehdi Aliyari, "[Iranian] planes have been refused fuel at airports in Britain, Germany and UAE because of the sanctions imposed by America. Refusing to provide fuel to Iranian passenger planes by these countries is a violation of international conventions."

The sanctions referenced by Aliyari were introduced by the United States, and penalize companies which supply Iran with petroleum products. It's not known whether or not the sanctions affect the fueling of airliners outside of Iran, and US officials haven't clarified.

According to the Financial Times, BP was responsible for the refusal to refuel Iranian aircraft. An unnamed source involved in the UAE's airline industry said that "[a] servicing company which provides fuelling at several airports around the world has refused to provide Iranian planes with fuel, including at UAE terminals."

British authorities said that the government had no control over refueling operations at airports, and the German transport ministry said that the refusal to do so was not illegal under European law.

Iran said that it planned to "do the same to ships and planes of those countries that cause problems for us" in retaliation.