British Airways has confirmed its intention to suspend flights to and from Iran, becoming the latest western firm to cut ties with the country in the face of US sanctions.
Saying its London to Tehran service is “currently not commercially viable”, the company’s last outbound flight from Heathrow airport will be on 22 September, and its last inbound flight a day later.
Customers with flights booked beyond these dates will be offered alternative travel dates or a full refund.
A BA spokesperson said:
We are suspending our London to Tehran service as the operation is currently not commercially viable.
We are sorry for any disruption this may cause to our customers' travel plans and we are in discussions with our partner airlines to offer customers rebooking options.
Alternatively, they will be offered a full refund or the opportunity to bring their flights forward.
The airline’s departure from Iran is another sign that US sanctions are biting western firms doing business with the Middle East country, in the wake of French oil giant Total officially pulling out earlier this week.
President Donald Trump has re-imposed sanctions against the country after taking the US out of the Iran nuclear deal signed in 2015, introducing additional fresh sanctions just this month.
Washington rejected European leaders’ urgent demand for exemptions for companies operating in the finance, energy and health industries, leaving companies to choose between doing lucrative business with the US and trading with Tehran.
As a result the EU has issued a statute allowing companies to sue the US for damages resulting from the sanctions.
BA first resumed flights to and from Iran in September 2016 following the nuclear deal, but the fresh suspension means these flights have only lasted for two years.
Trump’s sanctions have seen Iran’s rial currency plunge against the dollar, with the country’s central bank scrapping most currency controls to try to alleviate its fall.