Decision on banning Mahan Air flights, will Italy give in to U.S. pressure?

November 23, 2019 - 16:8

TEHRAN – Like many other European Countries, Italy is deeply concerned about the U.S’s unilateralism in the international system, and especially as Donald Trump's interference in the internal affairs of other countries has reached a level where Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin explicitly threaten other countries to abide by the Washington’s unilateral, irrational and illegal sanctions against other members of the international community.

The news regarding Italy’s preliminary agreement for banning Iranian Mahan Air flight to the country following Mike Pompeo's visit to Rome last month comes as Italian officials are fully aware of international laws (especially in the field of air transport).

According to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation, the interruption of daily flights of an airline to other countries can be interrupted if there are proven reasons of a "crime" or a "violation of international law" or a "nuisance to the host country", and none of the mentioned conditions are true about Mahan Air.

Now the question is why some European governments while acknowledging the illegality of U.S. sanctions, are choosing to take a passive approach toward them?!

The fact is that Europe’s approach toward the U.S. which is manifested mainly in the form of just criticizing its unilateralism and threatening other nations about biding by Washington's anti-Iranian sanctions, is not acceptable and European countries such as Italy cannot follow such a strategy.

If Europe and in this case Italy want to keep its trade ties with Iran, they have to be willing to pay the price.

There is no doubt that Trump will not be at the head of U.S. political and executive equations for a long time, and when he is gone, Italy will have to pay the prices of complying with U.S. sanctions for many years.

Banning Iranian flights for no reason, will not only undermine Italy's position as one of Europe's traditional actors in the world, but it will also impede the normalization of trade and credit relations between Iran and Italy in the future.

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio told U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in early October that Rome was set to make a decision on whether to follow suit, while Italy’s air authority ENAC said in a statement that the ban on Mahan’s flights to Rome and Milan would take effect in mid-December.

Given the fact that Italy has to go through with the decision in the upcoming month, now is the best chance for Rome to return from this costly decision.

Undoubtedly, Italy's return from this irrational decision will prove its credibility and independence in the international scene and will not let the country’s prestige to be undermined.



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