BaghdadFly Baghdad Civil Aviation Company considered that the sanctions imposed on it by the US Treasury Department on the grounds of transporting weapons and ammunition to Syria and Lebanon and supporting banned organizations were not based on evidence.
The company pointed out that it had worked for years under the direct supervision of the Iraqi government, and said that it would resort to the law to demand material and moral compensation against the US Treasury, indicating that it was in the process of negotiating with the American side to lift the sanctions.
Last Monday, the US Treasury included the company and its CEO, Bashir Abdul Kadhim Alwan Al-Shaibani, on the sanctions list, because of what it said was providing assistance to… Iran's Revolutionary GuardsAnd its proxy groups in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.
The Treasury stated that the company has, for several years, supported operations Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and its agents by delivering equipment and personnel throughout several parts of the region, and by delivering weapons shipments to Damascus International Airport, for transfer to members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and groups allied with Iran on the ground in Syria, including the Syrian Arab Republican Guard, andHizb allah The Lebanese, the Hezbollah Brigades and the Iraqi Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas Brigades.
Deadline for negotiation
The air advisor and company security director, Captain Nimir Al-Qaisi, told Al Jazeera Net that the company is in the process of negotiating with the American side, especially since the company has a period of two months to convince the American authorities to lift the sanctions, indicating that the company has been subject to the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority since its establishment in 2015, and holds an operating license that is renewed annually.
Al-Qaisi did not give further details, but he confirmed that after two months, every incident will be updated.
In this regard, political analyst Jabbar Al-Mashhadani believes that the American media hype around the Fly Baghdad company is ironic, and even if it is not fabricated, it comes in the context of mutual pressure between the two parties to the conflict in the region, Iran and America, indicating that Washington and the entire world know that Iran has armed Hezbollah in Lebanon. The party admitted on more than one occasion that the party’s salaries, pensions, and weapons were from Iran.
Al-Mashhadani explains to Al-Jazeera Net that there are internationally known procedures to address such situations. Declaring the company bankrupt and re-producing it again under a new name may be one of those solutions.
Fly Baghdad's ownership goes back to a number of Iraqi businessmen, and its CEO, Bashir Al-Shaibani, who was also subject to the sanctions in his capacity as its director of management, amid reports that the Central Bank of Iraq had begun freezing the company's accounts in 3 major banks in response to US Treasury sanctions.
Regarding the effects on the company due to the sanctions, the economic and financial expert, Safwan Qusay Abdel Halim, explains that the US Treasury is interested in tracking the movement of funds inside Iraq, and that there are many Iraqi companies that have commercial or non-commercial dealings with banned countries.
Abdel Halim expected, in an interview with Al Jazeera Net, that many companies linked to such violations would be tracked, and Iraq may be harmed at this stage due to the occurrence of a vacuum in some sectors, indicating the necessity of strengthening the economic system in Iraq at the medium and long-term level, through openness to… Conditions for international compliance and non-use of Iraqi lands for any illegal purpose, to contribute to increasing the level of confidence among financial and economic institutions by placing their funds inside Iraq and creating a safe environment.
Abdel Halim expressed his hope that these sanctions would be contained, through an assessment of the level of compliance at airports and the non-allowance of prohibited goods, as well as an increase in the level of quality of services provided by Fly Baghdad or other companies in proportion to restoring confidence in those sectors at the local and international levels. .
In this context, the company announced – yesterday, Tuesday – the cancellation of its flights to Dubai, Beirut, and Istanbul, due to American sanctions, for a period of 3 days.
Regarding the financial effects that will have on the company due to the American sanctions, Mustafa Akram Hantoush, a specialist in financial and banking affairs, confirms to Al Jazeera Net that the sanctions do not prevent the company from flying, but the company will face problems in financial accounts, banking dealings, and in the process of purchasing aircraft, and it can obtain approval from the Aviation Authority. The Iraqi Civilian asked that ticket fees be in cash, without depositing them in bank accounts, noting that this is possible in Iraq, but in other countries it is not possible.
The company's origins
Fly Baghdad is an independent private Iraqi company founded in 2015 by some Iraqi businessmen specialized in the field of air travel.
In 2017, the company adopted modern technology in its work and took the phrase “lower price…more travel” as its slogan. It began implementing the principle of electronic reservation using local payment methods, with a new administrative staff.
The company includes in its air fleet a number of Boeing 700 aircraft with local and foreign personnel.