July 10, 2021
An Iranian civilian airliner flying to Uzbekistan on Friday had to return to Iran because Turkmenistan’s authorities denied permission for the plane to fly over its territory.
Tasnim news agency in Tehran reported that a Zagros airlines flight with 170 passengers returned after departure for Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan after Turkmenistan canceled the airline’s overflight permission.
Tasnim quotes passengers who said the pilot announced the reason to be the airline’s lack of payments for overflight rights and other officials confirmed it.
Upon landing in Iran’s north-eastern city, Mashhad, the passengers faced another unforeseen problem. Since their passports were stamped by “exit” permits, they could not disembark. Iranians cannot leave the country without exit permits for which they have to pay a fee. The procedure is also meant to prevent dissidents from leaving the country.
Financial troubles for Iranian companies and the government are getting worse because of continuing US sanctions that prevent foreign currencies transfers through the international banking system to Iran.
Former US president Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and imposed sanctions that have crippled the country’s economy.