WASHINGTON - Iranian airplanes are no longer allowed to refuel in the majority of European airports and those still open to them are due to close their gates to Iran next month.
An agreement signed between the US and Europe's four largest oil companies increases Iran's aviation isolation significantly, the Washington Post reported Monday.
The four companies, the Dutch and British Shell, French Total, Italian ENI and Norwegian Statoil all agreed to stop investing in Iran and to avoid any new involvement with Tehran.
The annulment of contracts with Iran forces Iranian aircraft to refuel only on German and Austrian soil, where Total and the Austrian company OMV will provide fuel until the end of their contract next month.
Iranian planes have been blacklisted by the European Union back in July. Then it was said that the reason for the decisive move was safety issues with Iranian airplanes.
The EU has stated that two-thirds of planes belonging to IranAir, the national airline of the Islamic Republic of Iran, will not be allowed to enter Europe. The plane models that will not be allowed in are: Boeing-727, Boeing-747 and the Airbus-320. Similar restrictions have been imposed on Mahan Air airlines.
US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg, who heads the American delegation for strategic dialogue, has stated that the objective is to get companies to stop doing business with Iran.
The delegation is meeting in Washington Monday with the Israeli delegation, headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon.
Ayalon arrived in Washington after visiting Beijing, where he met with his Chinese counterpart and requested that China boost its sanctions and join the 32 countries, including South Korea and Japan, that have imposed sanctions on Iran.
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