IRGC-Affiliated Mahan Air Is to Blame for Spreading the Coronavirus in the Middle East

(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Lt.-Col. (ret.) Michael Segall - Mahan Air's involvement helping to promote the regional and international activity of the Quds Force - the special-operations, terrorism, and subversion arm of the IRGC - is well known. Mahan Air was blacklisted several times by the U.S. Treasury Department for helping the Quds Force ferry IRGC fighters and advisers, foreign fighters, weapons, and logistical assistance to the different arenas in which Iran meddles, particularly Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen, while also helping to further Iran's plans to develop weapons of mass destruction. Mahan Air's close ties to the IRGC are what enabled it to keep flying around the world so extensively despite the flight ban, to keep promoting the IRGC's economic and "security" ties, and particularly to continue the aid to Hizbullah in Lebanon; to the pro-Iran Shiite militias in Iraq, which was politically unstable and needed Iranian involvement so as to elect a prime minister "to its taste"; to Syria; and to the Houthi rebels in Yemen. On May 4, a BBC investigation revealed that a large number of the airline's cabin-crew showed Covid-19 symptoms, but when they tried to inform the company's management and obtain protective equipment, they were silenced and told to keep flying. This conduct was among the main causes of the spread of the virus. The writer, an expert on strategic issues with a focus on Iran, is a senior research fellow at the Jerusalem Center.

2020-05-08 00:00:00

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