Flights by a sanctioned Iranian airline affiliated to the Revolutionary Guard to Myanmar have raised speculation of secretive military-to-military cooperation.
In an article published by Asia Times on Thursday, diplomatic sources based in Southeast Asia said the recent landings by planes owned by the Iranian cargo airline Qeshm Fars Air may have taken place to deliver weapons including guided missiles.
The sources said an Iranian delegation that landed in Myanmar on January 13 was either the second or third to visit since the military seized power in a coup on February 1, 2021.
According to data by flight tracker Flightradar24, a plane flew from Mashhad, Iran’s second-biggest city, to Myanmar last week and returned to Iran the following day.
Zin Mar Aung, the foreign minister of the shadow National Unity Government, said, “This is the second time I have noticed an Iran flight. It is understood [to be] communication related to military technology”, adding that “military relations between [Myanmar’s] military junta… and a country like Iran can be said to be a worrying situation, not only for atrocities against the Myanmar people but also from a regional and international security perspective”.
The US Treasury in 2019 imposed sanctions on Qeshm Fars Air that is linked to designated Iranian airline Mahan Air and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force for allegedly transporting weapons to Tehran-backed groups Fatemiyoun Division and Zaynabiyoun Brigade in Syria.