Sunday, 1 May 2016

Iran comes in from the cold

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One of the world's biggest pariah states came in from the cold on 16 January 2016, when the lifting of nuclear sanctions against Iran ushered in a new era of cooperation with the international community.

For the Islamic Republic's long-suffering civil aviation sector, reintegration will be nothing short of transformative.

More than three decades of sanctions have left Iran's airlines in a sorry state. Rigid enforcement action by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), a wing of the US Treasury, pushed flag-carrier Iran Air and its 15 domestic rivals into the black market when buying and repairing aircraft.

The sector's ingenuity and perseverance outwitted the best efforts of a US Government that viewed every Iranian plane as a military threat, but success came at a price...