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iran flights

Title: iran flights



   JORDAN TIMES 24.01.02

Iran to start flights to Iraq

TEHRAN (R) ‹ Iran is to start flights to its former enemy Iraq after a break of more than two decades and plans to use Iraqi airspace for direct flights to Syria, the official IRNA news agency reported on Wednesday.
The move is likely to anger Tehran's arch-enemy the United States which has strongly supported maintaining United Nations sanctions imposed on Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War which ended Iraq's seven-month occupation of Kuwait.
No commercial transactions can take place under the sanctions, but UN Security Council members have been split about whether this included civilian flights.
Russia and France say the council's Sanctions Committee should be notified 24 hours in advance so cargo can be inspected for banned goods. But they argue the committee did not need to give its permission as Britain and the United States contend.
Washington and London say all flights should count as banned economic activity.
Iran reached agreement with Baghdad to allow the flights during a visit to Tehran by Iraqi Transport Minister Ahmad Murtada Ahmad Khalil last week, IRNA said.
łOnce suitable ground is prepared, Iranian flights into Iraq will resume,˛ it quoted Iranian Deputy Transport Minister Behzad Mazaheri as saying.
It said the flights would begin soon, but did not specify a time. It was not immediately clear if Iran planned to inform the UN Sanctions Committee of the planned flights.
Tehran and Baghdad, who fought eight years of bitter largely trench-warfare from 1980 to 1988, have been edging closer in recent months with both sides fearing an attack on Iraq by their common enemy, the United States, diplomats say.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri is due in Tehran for talks in a few days.
Flights between Iran and Syria have flown over Turkey to avoid no-fly zones patrolled by US and British fighter planes.

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