The spokesman of Iran Civil Aviation Organization has announced that flights have started between Tehran and Caracas, Venezuela by Iran’s Mahan Air.
Reza Jafarzadeh told Mehr news agency April 8 that the first flight took off from Tehran at 2:00 am local time. He added that a delegation from Mahan Air management was on the flight to travel to Venezuela and negotiate about the details of regular flights between the two countries.
The report by Mehr says that the non-stop flight to Caracas takes 16 hours.
Mahan Air was the first so-called private airline established in Iran in 1992, but the United States sanctioned the company in 2011 for “ties with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps’ Qods force” and for transporting fighters and weapons. France and German also have banned Mahan from their airspace based on similar accusations.
Iran, along with Russia, China and Turkey support Venezuela’s embattled president Nicholas Maduro.
Last week, two Russian planes touched down in Venezuela, reportedly carrying special forces and possibly weapons. The U.S. strongly warned Russia and other countries about sending armed personnel and weapons to Venezuela, characterizing such moves as a “direct threat” for regional security.