US sanctions Ukrainian airlines that provided BAe 146s to Iran

The US Department of the Treasury announced on 31 May that it was sanctioning Ukraine’s UM Air and Bukovyna Airlines for serving as intermediaries for the acquisition of aircraft by Mahan Air and Iran Air that are then used to move illicit cargo to Syria for the Assad regime’s violent crackdown against its own citizens. The sanctions order specifically noted UM Air’s role in procuring BAe 146s and Avro RJs for Mahan Air, and in helping to train and certify Mahan Air pilots and engineers on these aircraft. UM Air’s owner and chairman, Rodrigue Elias Merhej, was also specifically sanctioned. The sanctions are based on Executive Order 13382, which was signed by President George W. Bush on 29 June 2005 and which is aimed at freezing the assets of proliferators of weapons of mass destruction and their supporters, and at isolating them financially. Designations under E.O. 13382 prohibit all transactions between the designees and any US person, and freeze any assets the designees may have under US jurisdiction.

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