Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 2 / Trend S.Isayev/
Kent International Airport at Manston (UK) has prevented an aircraft from Iran's national airline to make refuelling stops on return journeys from the Heathrow airport, BBC reported.
According to the representatives of Kent International Airport at Manston, such decision was made due to the worsening diplomatic relations between the UK and Iran.
On Thursday, EU accepted additional sanctions against 179 individuals and institutions associated with the Iranian authorities. The decision was taken at the meeting of the EU countries FMs in Brussels. The IAEA Board of Governors adopted a resolution on November 18, calling on Iran to open access to the agency's experts to nuclear sites and insisting on greater cooperation between Iran and the Agency.
The intentions to impose additional sanctions came to notice after a report by the IAEA on Iran's nuclear program. It stated that Iran used to carry out work on nuclear weapons development until 2003, and these very activities could still go on today.
The decision to stop refuelling Iran Air planes was made before this week's closure of the British embassy in Tehran and Iranian embassy in London.
On Nov. 29, group of protesters broke away from a crowd of a few hundred outside the main British embassy compound in Tehran, scaled the gates, broke the locks and went inside. Protesters pulled down the British flag, burned it and put up the Iranian flag instead. Some took a framed picture of Queen Elizabeth. Police appeared to have cleared the demonstrators in front of the main embassy compound, but later clashed with protesters and fired tear gas to try to disperse them, Fars said. Protesters nevertheless entered the compound a second time, before once again leaving.
Chief executive Charles Buchanan said the airport had not breached any sanctions and that all the aircraft which landed at Manston had been cleared by the Civil Aviation Authority.
"As a commercial enterprise this was a profitable exercise for us but the sensitivities of dealing with Iran have changed. We are trying to make the airport as profitable as we can and everything we do is targeted towards that, but clearly, we do have to take the ethics of the situation into account and take a decision that is right in the wider context", Buchanan noted.
"Any revenue is significant and so it was a decision that we didn't take lightly," he added.
Iranian aircraft have been refuelling at Manston airport for several months. Although its flights were able to land at Heathrow, they could not refuel there because U.S. sanctions prevented Iran Air dealing with companies that had links to America. Manston, which is owned by Infratil, has no American trade connections.
Infratil is an owner and operator of businesses in the energy (mainly renewable), airport and public transport sectors. Its energy operations are predominantly in New Zealand and Australia. The Company owns Wellington Airport in New Zealand and airports in Glasgow and Kent. Infratil's public transport services are in Auckland and Wellington, New Zealand.