Iran restarts commercial flights to Afghanistan

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Iran on Wednesday resumed commercial flights to neighboring Afghanistan, where the Taliban took control last month.

“Today, Mahan Air carried passengers between Mashhad and Kabul airport,” the Fars news agency reported, referring to Iran’s second-largest city, in the northeast, and the Afghan capital.

“At present, this plane is returning to Mashhad with passengers.”

It was the first such flight between the two countries since the Taliban returned to power on August 15.

The Iranian civil aviation agency had announced the interruption of flights to Kabul on August 16 for security reasons.

Previously, Mahan Air had operated two flights a week between Mashhad and Kabul.

Mahan Air, the second-largest Iranian airline after state-owned Iran Air, has been on the blacklist of entities targeted by US sanctions against Iran since 2011.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Islamic republic is home to more than 3.46 million Afghans, most of them refugees or illegal immigrants, representing more than four percent of Iran’s population.


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