"This measure is a blatant violation of all international rules, including the Chicago Convention, and there is no doubt that it has been adopted under the US pressures," said the head of the Iranian Civil Aviation Organization, Ali Abedzadeh, on Wednesday (Jan. 23).
The Chicago Convention led to the establishment of the International Civil Aviation Organization, a UN body whose purpose is to regulate air travel between different nations.
According to the German foreign ministry, Mahan Air was involved in the transport of Iranian military equipment and personnel to Syria and other Middle East war zones.
German government spokesman Steffen Seibert had denied that the decision was a result of US pressure. "The German decision is based on considerations of our security needs," he said at a news conference.
The United States imposed sanctions on Mahan Air in 2011, saying it provided financial and other support to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), and has been pressing its European allies to follow suit. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on Monday that the "U.S. Treasury appreciates the important decision by Germany to deny Mahan Air's landing rights. Mahan routinely flies IRGC-QF and weapons to Syria, is subject to our terrorism secondary sanctions, and should be denied access around the world."Reuters contributed to this report.