IranAir (IR, Tehran Mehrabad) was not featured on the latest list of US sanctions imposed on Iran-related entities on March 20 despite threats from the Group of Seven (G7) that the airline could be banned from flying to Europe over Iran’s alleged missile sales to Russia, a US Treasury Department announcement showed.

Speaking last week, an unspecified senior US official told Reuters that the bloc, which includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, is considering banning the carrier from flying to Europe if Iran transfers close-range ballistic missiles to Russia.

"Our message today is, if Iran proceeds with providing Russia with ballistic missiles, the response from the international community will be swift and severe," the official told the press. The G7 move came after Reuters reported that Iran was sending hundreds of missiles for use in the war in Ukraine.

The official said that one option under consideration "would have the effect of ending flights from IranAir, its flagship state-owned carrier, into Europe - point being, this is not business as usual."

State-owned IranAir flies to eight destinations in Europe, ch-aviation schedules data shows. The carrier operates flights from Tehran Imam Khomeini to Cologne/Bonn, Frankfurt International, Hamburg Helmut Schmidt, London Heathrow, Milan Malpensa, Paris CDG, Rome Fiumicino, and Vienna.

Talks on Iran sanctions have impacted IranAir and other airlines from the country for years. In 2022, the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - JCPOA), which would have given sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on Tehran’s nuclear programme, included the acquisition of Airbus and ATR - Avions de Transport Régional aircraft. However, IranAir is still struggling with loans for an earlier purchase of aircraft that took place under the JCPOA due to ongoing sanctions and depreciating rial-US dollar rates.

IranAir was banned from flying to the European Union from 2010 to 2016 over safety concerns. The company also endured a short ban on European flights in 2020 but resumed them within a matter of days.