Israel slams US for allowing Iranian purchase of aircraft, violating sanctions

By REUTERS
May 19, 2015 15:25

 
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JERUSALEM - A senior Israeli official took a swipe at Washington on Tuesday over Iran's purchase of second-hand civilian aircraft, saying the acquisition violated US sanctions and went ahead despite a tip-off from Israel.

Iranian Transport Minister Abbas Akhoondi was quoted on May 11 by the Iranian Students News Agency as saying Tehran bought 15 used commercial planes in the last three months. He did not say who sold them or how they had been acquired.

A long-standing ban on the export of aircraft spare parts to Iran was eased under an interim nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers in late 2013, but the US sanctions regime continues to restrict sales of planes.

"Israel learned from intelligence sources about this very significant breach of the sanctions in advance of it occurring," the Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters.

"We flagged the issue to the US administration," the official said. "Unfortunately, the deal still went through and there was no success in preventing it."

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