Munich airport authorities told Mr Zarif’s department he could either fly in with a sufficient reserve of fuel for his trip to Munich, in the southern state of Bavaria, or fly to the nearby Austrian capital of Vienna, where the suppliers did not take the same precautionary view.
Suddeutsche Zeitung said Mr Zarif had planned to travel to Moscow after leaving the security conference
Iranian officials rejected the choices and instead requested the conference organiser, Wolfgang Ischinger, who was previously Germany’s ambassador to the US, lobby the German government to assist their plans. Germany’s defence ministry agreed to take over the refuelling a day before Mr Zarif’s arrival.
In a robust address to the conference, Mr McMaster decried the European rush to invest in Iran following the 2015 accord that eased sanctions over its nuclear programme.
“Now is also the time to address serious flaws in the Iran deal and counter Iran’s destabilising activities, including its development and proliferation of missiles—and its support for terrorist proxies and militias that fuel destructive conflicts across the greater Middle East,” the US national security adviser said. “The Iranian regime foments this violence with support from commercial entities affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or IRGC—including Mahan Air, which lands right here in Munich Airport.”
In addition to citing Mahan Air, a subsidiary of the state airline, Mr McMaster went on to say that corporations dealing with Iran “might as well cut the IRGC a cheque” to fund its killing activities in the Middle East.