MADRID, SPAIN — Analysts see this month's re-opening of an air link between Tehran and Caracas as the latest evidence of Iran's growing role alongside Russia and Cuba in bolstering the multilayered security apparatus keeping Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in power.
Mahan Air, a private airline sanctioned by the United States for its links with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), initiated flights between Tehran and Caracas last week, according to Iranian civil aviation officials who announced the initiation of the air route when a Mahan airliner landed in Caracas on April 8.
"Unless Iran has suddenly become a source of tourists, this is another reason why the regime of Maduro has become a threat to the security of the U.S.," tweeted Senator Marco Rubio, who has major input into the Trump administration’s Latin American policy.
Spokesmen for Iran’s civil aviation organization have told the official Mehr news agency that the Mahan airliner carried high-level foreign ministry officials and airline executives.
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