For the first time since the Iranian Revolution, direct flights will resume between Iran and the US. The news comes on the back of Iran’s lifted sanctions after inspectors noted that they were in compliance with the nuclear deal reached by President Obama and others last year, along with the successful prisoner exchange which saw the release of former Matador writer Jason Rezaian.
Though the deal is not yet finalized, the opening of talks brings hope for a new connectivity between the two countries not seen in a generation. “The matter is currently being examined, and the result of the negotiations will be announced at the appropriate time,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Jaber Ansari said.
Iranian Transportation Minister Abbas Ahmad Akhoundi and the country’s civil air traffic authority are leading the talks on the Iranian side, the newspaper Shargh reported. Tehran plans to buy 114 civil aircraft from European aircraft maker Airbus.
After the Iranian Revolution of 1979, which saw the installation of the country’s Islamic rule under Ayatollah Khomeini and a hostage crisis of Americans lasting 444 days, all direct flights were cancelled, and sanctions were put in place on industries such as steel, oil, and shipping. For millions of Iranians living or visiting the country, this means travel can only happen through convoluted itineraries involving multiple airlines. For Americans, an Iranian passport stamp can cause problems while visiting other countries in the area. The relaxed tensions between America and Iran signals the end of such an era.