Further indications have emerged that a blockade declared by several Persian Gulf states against Qatar has already opened a food corridor between Tehran and Doha since last week. Iranian officials say the country is already sending at least 100 tonnes of food supplies to Qatar by plane every day.
Shahrokh Noushabadi, Iran Air’s spokesman, was quoted by the domestic media as saying that at least five planeloads of fruits and vegetables had already been sent to Qatar.
Noushabadi added that the cargoes had been sent to the embattled Persian Gulf state by an Iran Air Boeing 747 plane from Tehran and Shiraz airports, Iran’s Fars News Agency reported.
The official further emphasized that Iran was ready to increase the number of food shipments to Qatar, stressing that plans were already at hand to the same effect.
On a related front, an official at the Chamber of Commerce of Iran’s Alborz Province was quoted by IRNA news agency as saying that a cargo of 100 tonnes of fruits and vegetables from the province had been packed and delivered to Qatar by air in less than 12 hours.
Kazem Mirjalili, the head of the Agriculture Department of Alborz Chamber of Commerce, emphasized that the province was ready to supply Qatar’s required food items as well as pharmaceuticals “within the shortest time possible.”
An equal amount of fruits and vegetables are being sent to Qatar by plane from Iran’s southern city of Shiraz, Fars Province.
Ali Hemmati, the president of Fars Province Agriculture, Mine and Trade Organization, was quoted by local media as saying that 100 tonnes of fruits and vegetables were already being sent to Qatar.
Another provincial official also told media that Fars Province was ready to export 45 tonnes of dairy products to Qatar every day.
The diplomatic crisis between Qatar and its Persian Gulf neighbors has also led to Doha using Iran’s airspace.
Ali Abedzadeh, the CEO of the Civil Aviation Organization of Iran, told media that there has been an increase of 17 percent in the number of flights that pass through Iran’s airspace.
Iran’s parliament speaker says the legislature is to deliver a “serious” and “clear” response to a push at the US Senate to impose new sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Ali Larijani made the remarks on Sunday as he ordered Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee to “immediately” draw up a counter-plan and submit it to the legislature.
The US Senate on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to advance a bill that would impose new sanctions on Iran, the same day at least 17 people were killed in terrorist attacks in Tehran.
A senior Senate aide said the Iran sanctions measure could come up for a vote as soon as next week. The legislation would impose new sanctions on Iran over its defense missile program, support for resistance movements and claims of human rights violations against the country.
To become law, the measure would have to pass the Republican-led House of Representatives and be signed by President Donald Trump. So far, Washington has slapped two rounds of sanctions on Iran under the new US administration in breach of a nuclear accord.
Larijani said Iran’s countermeasure should incorporate “resistance on the right path of the Revolution and increased convergence” in the face of the enemies’ efforts to “blunt Iran’s instruments of dignity.”
“The enemy’s strategy is to slow down the means of Iran’s dignity, and preoccupy its authorities with extraneous issues,” he said.
At least 17 people were killed and 52 others injured in Tehran on Wednesday when gunmen mounted almost simultaneous assaults on Iran’s Parliament and the Mausoleum of the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini. The Daesh terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attacks.
“We should accept that a line comprising terrorists and the countries backing them, which are being led by the United States and Saudi Arabia, has formed against our people,” Larijani said.
He also expressed his thanks to world officials and parliaments for extending messages of commiseration to the Iranian people and government over the terrorist attacks in Tehran.
Those messages, he said, have dismayed Riyadh, which only last month gathered many of its allies, including the United States, in an anti-Iran conference featuring Trump as the keynote speaker.
Larijani said Iranian lawmakers’ decision to go ahead with their session as the terrorist attack unfolded in a nearby building and their participation at a funeral for victims of the attacks showed the country’s determination to fight terrorists to the last.
Senior MP Akbar Ranjbarzadeh said a number of the elements behind the massacre which had fled the country were exterminated, adding several others trying to stage acts of terror were also identified and neutralized.
Chief of justice of Iran’s Kurdistan Ali Akbar Garousi also said six people with “definite link” to the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks in Tehran had been arrested in the western province.