Dutch carrier KLM to halt flights to Iran due to US sanctions
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Dutch carrier KLM to halt flights to Iran due to US sanctions

Airline cites 'negative results and financial outlook' following Trump's pullout from nuclear deal

A KLM Royal Dutch airplane (Wikimedia commons/ Arpingstone- public domain)
A KLM Royal Dutch airplane (Wikimedia commons/ Arpingstone- public domain)

Dutch airline KLM has said it will halt flights to Tehran “as a result of the negative results and financial outlook” following the US withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear accord.

The airline, part of the Air France KLM group, made the announcement in a short statement on its website Saturday.

KLM said its last flight will leave Amsterdam on September 22 and return on September 23.

KLM ceased flights to Tehran in 2013, resuming them in 2016 after the nuclear deal was signed. That deal saw sanctions on Iran lifted in exchange for it limiting its enrichment of uranium.

US President Donald Trump announced in early May the unilateral withdrawal of the US from the Iran nuclear deal and the reinstatement of sanctions against the country, as well as against foreign companies who do business with it.

Air France resumed flights to Tehran in 2016 after an eight-year absence. The airline continues its flights.

On Saturday, the world’s third largest shipping container group, the French-owned CMA CGM, decided to withdraw from Iran over the threat of US sanctions, its chief executive said.

“Because of the Trump administration, we have decided to end our service to Iran,” Rodolphe Saade told an economic conference in Aix-en-Provence in southern France.

European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini (L); Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif (C) and political deputy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran Abbas Araghchi take part in a Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) ministerial meeting on the Iran nuclear deal on July 6, 2018 in Vienna, Austria. (AFP/APA/Hans Punz)

On Friday, the remaining partners in the 2015 nuclear deal vowed to keep Iran plugged into the global economy despite the US withdrawal and sanctions threat.

Britain, France, and Germany along with Russia and China met with Iran in Vienna to offer economic benefits and assurances that would lessen the blow of sweeping US sanctions announced by Trump.

The foreign ministers Friday agreed on an 11-point list of joint goals in the Austrian capital, where the accord was signed with the aim of stopping Iran from building the atomic bomb in return for sanctions relief.

In the joint statement, they reconfirmed their commitment to the deal and its “economic dividends” for Iran, which has suffered worsening financial turbulence since Trump abandoned the accord, and vowed to work for “the protection of companies from the extraterritorial effects of US sanctions.”

Although there were no concrete pledges or deadlines, they also vowed efforts to keep open financial channels with Iran, promote export credit cover, and maintain open air, sea, and overland transport links.

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