US blacklists Chinese company for dealings with Iran’s Mahan Air (

The United States government on Tuesday blacklisted and sanctioned a Chinese company for providing services to Iranian airline Mahan Air, accusing them of “carrying gold from Venezuela’s vaults back to Iran”.

In a statement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that they were designating Shanghai Saint Logistics Limited, a China-based company, and the Treasury department also announced sanctions.

Mr Pompeo accused the company of providing “general sales agent services for the Specially Designated Global Terrorist Iranian airline.”

Mahan air was designated to this classification in 2011 for “providing financial, material and technological support to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force”.

“The People’s Republic of China is one of the rapidly dwindling number of countries that welcomes Mahan Air, which ferries weapons and terrorists around the world for the Islamic Republic of Iran. Such cooperation has consequences,” Mr Pompeo’s statement said, amid souring relations between China and the US.

The US is claims Iran has also used Mahan Air to facilitate shipments to Venezuela to boost energy production for the regime of Nicolas Maduro. Five Iranian oil vessels are on their way to Venezuela in violation of US sanctions, Reuters reported last week.

“It is equally troubling that Mahan Air appears to be carrying gold from Venezuela’s vaults back to Iran, depriving the Venezuelan people of resources needed to rebuild their economy,” Mr Pompeo said,

A BBC investigation revealed this month that Mahan Air has conducted 157 secret flights to China, overriding pandemic restrictions.

Updated: May 19, 2020 07:26 PM

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