The European Commission announced on Thursday that the Iranian flag carrier Iran Air has been taken off a safety blacklist and has thus been cleared to fly in the European Union.
EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc has been quoted by AFP as saying in an announcement that the decision follows a visit to Iran and a technical assessment of the country’s aviation safety standards.
“Following my visit to Iran in April, a technical assessment was successfully carried out in May,” EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc said in her statement.
“Based on this I am happy to announce that we are now able to allow most aircraft from Iran Air back into European skies,” Bulc added.
Previously, only the carrier’s EU-manufactured Airbus planes could operate in the bloc, AFP added.
Iran’s aviation industry – among several other sectors – had been under a draconian regime of US-engineered sanctions for multiple years. The sanctions were lifted in January when a deal between Iran and the so-called P5+1 – the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany – came into effect. The deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – envisaged steps by Iran to restrict certain aspects of its nuclear energy activities in return for the removal of sanctions against the country.
Iran has since intensified efforts to purchase new planes from global aviation giants including Airbus, Boeing and others.
In January, the country sealed a deal with Airbus during a state visit to Paris by President Hassan Rouhani to purchase 118 new planes. Iranian officials say a similar deal is also being worked out with Boeing.
Officials in Tehran have already emphasized that a bulk of new planes will go to Iran Air.