Monday , 18 October 2021

Iran resumes flights to Afghanistan

Al-Monitor – Flights between Iran and Afghanistan have resumed after receiving permission from Iranian and Afghan aviation authorities.

The private Iranian airline Mahan Air flew 19 passengers on a charter flight from the holy city of Mashhad to the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Wednesday. Mahan then brought 26 people back to Mashhad. There was also a flight from Kabul to Tehran. The flights took off after the Iranian Civil Aviation Organization and their Afghan counterparts issued the necessary permits, the semi-official Mehr News Agency reported.

Iran halted flights to Afghanistan last month amid the chaos surrounding the US military withdrawal and Taliban takeover of the country. Airlines from Turkey and the United Arab Emirates have also suspended flight services to Afghanistan at the time.

As the Taliban has consolidated control in Kabul, the situation at the airport has stabilized. Last week, Qatar Airways flew foreigners out of the city on a commercial flight.

Iran has taken a cautious approach toward the Taliban so far. Historically, the Sunni extremist Taliban and the Shiite Islamic Republic have had difficult relations, but there are now other concerns such as maintaining cross-border trade. Some Iranian politicians have been criticizing relations with the Taliban in part due to its history of persecuting Afghanistan’s Shiite Hazara community.

Iranian officials have also repeatedly criticized the US government amid its defeat in Afghanistan, and Iran did not close its embassy in the country following the Taliban victory. The Iranian government also hosted Taliban delegations a few times earlier this year.