UANI Calls on Alitalia Airlines, Others, to End Iran Flights Due to IRGC Control of Airports Business Wire NEW YORK -- February 19, 2013 Today, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) continued its Airports Campaign, calling on Italian airline Alitalia to stop its services to and from Iran. UANI also called on both Russia’s Aeroflot and Turkish Airlines to cease their Iran operations. Alitalia, the flag carrier and national airline of Italy, maintains regular flights and cargo services to Iran, where airports are controlled by the blacklisted Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). The IRGC’s control of transportation hubs is essential to achieving its illicit and deadly aims. Other airlines have taken the responsible action of ceasing operations in Iran, including AirAsia, British Midland International, British Airways, Air France-KLM, and Austrian Airlines. Iranian regime officials frequently use commercial airlines to travel to international conferences and business meetings. Were Alitalia and the remaining outliers to cease their Iran operations, the regime would be severely isolated and ultimately forced to choose between having a nuclear weapon, or having the ability to freely travel internationally. In a letter sent to Alitalia CEO, Andrea Ragnetti, UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, wrote: By a variety of methods, including through its ties to the Ministry of Transportation and Housing, the IRGC has exerted its authority and control over Iran’s airports. … For example, according to Mohammed Ali Moshaffeq, an aide to dissident Iranian politician Mehdi Karrubi, at least 25 gates at Tehran International Airport operate outside the official customs office and have been placed under control of the IRGC. In fact, it is reported that the IRGC runs the main international airport of Iran, Imam Khomeini International Airport (“IKA”) — the same airport in which Alitalia has an active presence. Disturbingly, IKA also functions as “a hub for arresting political dissidents fleeing the Islamic Republic... with boarding gate security run by the [IRGC].” … The IRGC leverages its control over the airports and other transportation hubs for financial gain and to fund its illicit activities, as well as to deliver arms to its terrorist proxies and import sensitive materials necessary for the regime's nuclear and ballistic missile programs. **** Unfortunately, despite the fact that the IRGC is clearly in control of the airports, Alitalia continues to have a significant presence in Iran. Alitalia maintains an Iran office in Tehran, as advertised on its website. Alitalia provides both regular passenger flights from Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO) as well as cargo services to Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport. As you know, all airport users are subject to various fees for using the airport facilities, pertaining to landing, passenger service, parking, terminal facilities, security and other services. In this case, Alitalia is paying such fees directly to the IRGC. UANI has sent separate letters to Aeroflot Airlines and Turkish Airlines, calling for the end of their Iran operations. UANI has previously called on Lufthansa, Europe’s largest airline, to end its services to and from Iran. Click here to read UANI’s full letter to Alitalia. Click here to send a message to Alitalia. Click here to read UANI’s letter to Aeroflot Airlines. Click here to read UANI’s letter to Turkish Airlines. Click here to learn more about UANI’s Airports Campaign. Contact: United Against Nuclear Iran Nathan Carleton, 212-554-3296 email@example.com
UANI Calls on Alitalia Airlines, Others, to End Iran Flights Due to IRGC Control of Airports
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