Home > News > World
Saturday April 19, 2014 MYT 5:31:37 PM
Saturday April 19, 2014 MYT 5:32:48 PM
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran says that a plane which landed in Tehran airport flying the American flag was leased to Ghana's presidential office and carrying a business delegation from the African nation.
The New York Times reported on Thursday that a plane owned by the Bank of Utah was parked in Mehrabad Airport in Tehran on Tuesday.
Its presence was noteworthy as the United States and Iran have been at loggerheads for decades and the Islamic Republic is subject to certain economic sanctions.
State news agency IRNA on Friday night quoted Iranian foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham as saying that the plane was transporting the brother of Ghana's president and a mining delegation.
"The plane is on lease to Ghana's presidential office, and its passengers were Ghanaian senior officials led by the president's brother. None of its crew members were American," Afkham was quoted as saying.
The Ghanaian delegation was in Iran to follow up on agreements reached between the two countries two years ago, she said, adding that it departed on Thursday.
The New York Times said it had reviewed a confidential document which showed that "the plane is held in a trust by the Bank of Utah and on behalf of the mining company, Engineers and Planners, which is based in Accra".
It quoted a Bank of Utah executive, Brett King, as saying the company had no idea why the plane was at the airport and it was investigating further.
There was no immediate comment from Ghanian officials.
Iran and world powers are engaged in negotiations over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme. Some international sanctions imposed over its programme have been eased temporarily after a deal was reached last year. Washington has said the lifting of sanctions can only happen "in total" after a comprehensive deal is reached.
Former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stepped up a to expand ties with African countries, though his campaign yielded little in terms of trade and votes at the United Nations against sanctions targeting its nuclear programme.
(Reporting by Mehrdad Balali; Editing by Angus MacSwan; Editing by Yara Bayoumy)
Two Japan ministers latest to deny illegal funding
Lesotho prepares for early vote in bid to ease political crisis
Iran, six powers to hold nuclear talks in Switzerland on March 5 - EU
Quarter-century after $500 million art heist, Boston mystery endures
Malaysians abroad share how they celebrate our local festivals
8 Incredible food and wine adventures you can do in Australia!
SSTMI-Thunderbolt champions yet again in junior hockey league
Amazon hires former Obama press secretary Carney
Rooms and features that offer customisability for buyers
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)