Since a bunch of Iranian protesters have provoked international outrage by storming the UK Embassy in Tehran – ransacking offices and burning the Union flag – wasn't it heartening to see that until very recently our friends at Manston Airport were allowing Iranian passenger planes to refuel in Thanet? What a lovely gesture that was.
According to the Daily Mail, since Manston Airport is privately-owned by Infatril, the deal struck with Iran Air dodged international sanctions which were imposed due to fears that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon. In the diplomatic fallout to the Embassy raid, however, there are fresh calls by Foreign Secretary William Hague to impose tougher sanctions against Iran. These calls seem to be heeded now the EU is pursuing a similar tough line against Ahmedinijad and the Iranian regime, so in the midst of this ongoing and rather embarrassing situation, Manston Airport Chief Executive Charles Buchanan stopped allowing Iran Air to make refuelling stops, admitting on BBC News:
"As a commercial enterprise this was a profitable exercise for us but the sensitivities of dealing with Iran have changed."
It's easy to be wise after the event, isn't it? Let's just pray a new deal isn't struck which ends up being similarly at odds with the rest of the international community!