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The lifting of nuclear-related sanctions against Iran may be a watershed moment for the country's civil aviation sector, but not all domestic operators are seeing immediate benefits.
Meraj Airlines, along with Mahan Air and Caspian Airlines, continues to be shackled by terrorism-related sanctions – a handicap that stems from its alleged support for Iranian military activity in Syria.
The company was founded in 2010 and partly functions as a scheduled passenger airline, deploying three Airbus A320s and two A300-600s from Tehran, Mashhad and Kish.
But it also operates VIP flights on behalf of the Iranian Government with a mixed fleet of A320-family jets, A340s, Boeing 737-200s, 707-300s and Falcon 50s. It is this facilitating role for the Government that has aroused the concern of the US Treasury, which accuses Meraj of ferrying "illicit cargo, including weapons" to the Syrian regime...