The Bank of Utah has purchased a Boeing 737 airliner from Al Naser Airlines, an Iraqi company with deep ties to Mahan Airlines – an Iran-headquartered company that assists the Tehran regime in pursuit of its global ambitions, according to a new report.
Mahan Airlines is known to help the Iranian military with troop transports, including sending members of its Quds Force into the ongoing civil war in Syria.
According to the International Business Times, the jet was purchased on October 20, and there is no record for where the plane is currently located.
Al-Naser Airlines was prohibited from doing business with the United States in May as part of the sanctions against the Iranian regime, creating a scenario where the Bank of Utah has potentially engaged in a violation of U.S. law.
In May, the Treasury Department found that Al Naser was “providing support to Iran’s Mahan Air,” stating the Iraqi company was “involved in [an] Iranian scheme to purchase airplanes.”
The Bank of Utah has on several occasions purchased jets from companies tied to the Tehran regime. One such aircraft was spotted at a Tehran airport in 2014, leading Bank of Utah executive Brett King to declare, “We have no idea why that plane was at that airport,” the International Business Times report said.
Mahan Air was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department in October, 2011 “for providing financial, material, and technological support to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF),” the executive branch department said. Mahan has also “transported personnel, weapons and goods on behalf of Lebanese Hizballah,” the statement added.
The IRGC-connected airline has succeeded in the past in thwarting international sanctions. This year, the company purchased jets from European companies using a front organization to access their inventory.
Moreover, the U.S. Office of Foreign Asset Control has specifically mentioned Al Naser Air and Mahan Air as entities with which American citizens are prohibited from engaging in commerce with.
The Bank of Utah opened in 1952. It holds $700 million dollars in assets, according to its website. The bank currently has 13 branches in Utah, and approximately 300 employees.