Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Switzerland Refuses To Refuel Iranian Plane

The Swiss have been busy.

Besides Switzerland withholding funds from a pro-Palestinian NGO, they have also targeted Iran as well.

The Swiss have refused to refuel an Iranian plane:
The Swiss daily NZZ has reported that the international airport in Geneva is refusing to refuel Iran Air flights.

Anton Kohler, a spokesman for the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA), which is responsible for aviation development and the supervision of civil aviation activities in Switzerland, told the Swiss wire service SDA that “at this time aircraft from Iran Air will no longer be refueled at Geneva's airport.”

Kohler declined to comment on whether the move was connected with sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program and violation of UN sanctions. He said Swiss authorities were seeking a “pragmatic solution” and that Iran Air could refuel in other countries, such as Serbia, until a remedy was found.
Geneva joins airports in Holland and Vienna which have also refused to fuel Iran Air planes.

Speaking of Iran and fuel, there are reports that there was a blast at an Iranian refinery while Ahmadinejad was visiting:
An explosion blamed on a gas leak rocked Iran's largest refinery on Tuesday around the time of a visit to the plant by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iranian media reported that up to two people were killed.

The blast occurred just before Ahmadinejad was to inaugurate and expansion project at the 400,000 barrel per day refinery in the southwestern city of Abadan, and injured 20 people, the semi-official Fars news agency said. The explosion was blamed on a "gas leakage," but no other details were provided. Ahmadinejad himself was not injured.
The blast occurred after Ahmadinejad had already left--but even so, the explosion was no small matter: that one plant alone was accounting for about 25% of Iran's fuel, adding up to approximately 1.67 million barrels per day.

This only worsens Iran's struggle to meet the local demand for fuel--although it is the world's fourth largest crude producer, insufficient refining capacity has forced Iran to impose a fuel rationing system.

And of course sanctions, no matter how ineffective, only make Iran's problem worse.

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