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Iran Air considers legal case over EU fuel denial


October 31, 2010 10:06 by

Iran’s state-owned airline is considering legal action to force European companies to fuel its planes, official news agency IRNA reported on Saturday.

To comply with European Union sanctions, aimed at pressuring Iran over its nuclear programme, several oil companies have cut their business with the Islamic Republic, including stopping sales of jet fuel.

Tehran says that breaks international aviation law.

“These bans are in contravention of the Chicago Convention (on aviation) in that there must be no restrictions imposed on commercial airliners,” Iran Air Chief Executive Farhad Parvaresh was quoted as saying.

“Iran is taking the necessary legal measures through appropriate international bodies in this regard and this matter has been raised with the Hague tribunal through the appointment of lawyers,” he said.

Parvaresh did not say which tribunal in the Hague he was referring to. The Dutch city is home to several international courts.

Iran said on Oct. 19 that some companies at European airports were refusing to sell fuel to its planes.

State-owned Iran Air said at the time that “fuel supply problems” at London Heathrow airport Tehran-bound flights had to stop off at Hamburg or Vienna to refuel, adding an estimated 90 minutes to the usual flight time of around six and a half hours.

Iran Air’s main rival airline on the London route is bmi, a subsidiary of Germany’s Lufthansa .

Among the European oil companies that have cut, or plan to cut, their business with Iran are France’s Total, Norway’s Statoil , Italy’s ENI and Royal Dutch Shell.

Iran has played down the impact of international sanctions aimed at pressuring it to curb its nuclear programme which some countries fear is aimed at making an atomic bomb, a charge Tehran denies.

(Writing by Robin Pomeroy; editing by Sue Thomas)


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