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Iran confirms planes being refused fuel in Europe

Iran previously denied planes refused fuel at EU airports.

October 19, 2010 2:33 by

Iran confirmed on Tuesday that some companies were refusing to refuel its planes at European airports and said it would retaliate if the situation continued.

Iran has played down the impact of international sanctions, which were tightened in June, and previously said news reports that Iranian airlines were having problems refuelling abroad were part of a “psychological war”.

But when asked about the issue at his weekly news conference, foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said, “Unfortunately, some western companies have adopted inappropriate policies.

“Our advice to their governments is not to act beyond the regulations and even that illegal resolution,” he said, referring to the new U.N. sanctions aimed at pressuring Iran over its nuclear programme.

Royal Dutch Shell was among the first to decide not to renew its contracts to supply Iran Air with fuel, an industry source said in July. Other companies have since been cited in news reports as cutting supplies to the Iranian flag carrier.

“The continuation of this approach by these companies will jeopardise their interests … besides we will not tolerate it, and confronting them is in the agenda,” Mehmanparast said. He did not specify what form any retaliation might take.

Iran has been hit by a new wave of international sanctions over its nuclear enrichment activities. The United States and its European allies fear Iran is trying to build a bomb under cover of a civilian nuclear program. Iran says it needs nuclear technology to generate power and is not seeking atomic weapons.

(Writing by Ramin Mostafavi, Editing by Jane Baird)

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