by Doris Strub Epstein
Majid Jowhari, Liberal MP representing the riding of Richmond Hill, is lobbying the Canadian government to re-open embassies in Ottawa and Iran. According to Atash, a Persian news outlet in Canada as reported by The Clarion Project, he met with a delegation from Iran aiming to launch a Canada -Iran parliamentary friendship group and push for the re-establishment of flights with Mahan Air for direct flights between Iran and Canada.
“Our government’s position is that Canada severing ties with Iran had no positive consequences for anyone, not for Canadians, not for the people of Iran, not for our Canadian allies, and not for global security,” Jowhari, who is Iranian born, said at a news conference.
But the National Council of Resistance of Iran (N) an Iranian opposition group claims that although Mahan Air is a private company, the major shareholder of the firm is Charity of Mowla al-Movahedding which belongs to the Revolutionary Guards. They say in addition to transporting personnel to fight for the Syrian regime, Mahan flights are used to transport weapons.
They quoted a report by Reuters in 2013: “Iranian arms shipments to Syria have intensified in recent months!… Iran Air and Mahan Air send at least five tons of weapons per flight to Syria.”
The United States does not object to Iran conducting worldwide flights. Since the implementation of the Iran agreement, all the restrictions against Mahan Air were lifted and the airline is allowed to fly globally.
But Democratic Congressman Brad Sherman said, speaking on behalf of more than 24 Congress people who wrote to David O’Sullivan, the EU ambassador urging Europe to end its relationship with Mahan, “This idea that we can allow Mahan Air to do whatever it wants just because there are temporary restrictions on the nuclear deal – that wasn’t the deal.”