Complaints from Iran that their passenger planes were not allowed to refuel at German airports are unfounded, the German government said. Britain and the United Arab Emirates have also rejected similar claims.
Reports suggest Iran Air was refused jet fuel at German airports
The German transport ministry has rejected reports from Tehran that Iranian passenger planes have been prevented from refueling at German airports. A spokesman for the ministry added that "there are no plans for any bans in the near future either."
Britain and the United Arab Emirates have also said they were not aware of any refueling bans in their respective countries.
The secretary of the Iranian Airlines Union, Mehdi Aliyari, had told the Iranian news agency ISNA earlier on Monday that Iran Air and fellow Iranian carrier Mahan Airlines had been refused jet fuel.
"Since last week, our planes have been refused fuel at airports in Britain, Germany and UAE [United Arab Emirates] because of the sanctions imposed by America," Aliyari said.
Neither the transport ministry nor the Iranian airport authorities confirmed the report.
Last Thursday, US President Barack Obama signed into law far-reaching sanctions against Iran that aim to squeeze the Islamic Republic's fuel imports to punish Iran for its nuclear development program, which the US and other nations believe is aimed at manufacturing nuclear weapons.
US sanctions on Iran are far tougher than those of the UN
Although Iran is a major exporter of crude oil, it imports refined oil because it lacks refining capacity.
Washington has not specifically said whether the new sanctions require firms to refuse refueling, but US officials made it clear on Monday that they were pleased with reports that sanctions are beginning to bite.
The Financial Times Deutschland reported in its Tuesday edition that UK oil giant BP had not renewed a contract to supply Iranian airlines with fuel. BP did not confirm the report but said that "we respect, in all the countries where we operate the local rules regarding sanctions."
Author: Nicole Goebel (dpa, AFP, Reuters)
Editor: Tony Dunham