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Iran airliner begins direct flights to crisis-hit Venezuela Open in fullscreen

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Iran airliner begins direct flights to crisis-hit Venezuela

Mahan Air has been under sanctions by some European countries [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 April, 2019

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Sanctioned Iranian airline Mahan Air has started direct flights to Venezuela, an ally of Tehran.

An Iranian airliner started direct flights to Venezuela on Monday, in a sign of strengthening ties between the countries which have been engaged in a diplomatic battle with the US in recent months.

Mahan Air started direct flights from Tehran to Venezuela's capital Caracas on Monday, a 16-hour journey for the government officials onboard the carrier, according to Mehr news agency.

The delegation was in Caracas to discuss regular flights between the two countries, according to Reza Jafarzadeh, spokesperson Iran's Civil Aviation Organisation.

Iran's first private airliner Mahan Air has been under sanctions by the US and some European countries due to allegations it has been funneling troops and military equipment to Syria and other countries.

Tehran has backed Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who has faced an economic crisis at home and challenge to his rule following mass protests.

Russia, China, Turkey and the Syrian regime have backed Maduro, while the US and some European countries have recognised opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's leader.

Mahan Air has cancelled some flights to Europe following US sanctions.

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