The German flag carrier Lufthansa has cancelled all flights from Iran until further notice after a dead body was discovered in the undercarriage of the airline’s plane that had just arrived at Frankfurt airport from the Iranian capital, Tehran.
According to a statement by Lufthansa and the German police, the airline staff found a lifeless male body Thursday morning during a routine maintenance check at 5:30 a.m. local time. The statement added that an oxygen can, and a mask was found next to the dead body.
Following the discovery, the Lufthansa flight scheduled for Friday morning was cancelled. The Austrian airline has also followed suit and announced it has indefinitely cancelled all flights to and from Iran.
The Incident Comes Amid Protests in Iran
The Thursday incident comes amidst nationwide protest in Iran following the death of a 22-year-old Iranian woman named Mahsa Amini, who died in custody after being held by the Islamic Republic police for “improper” attire”.
The protest began in September after Amini’s death and has since transitioned into a reformational rally and shows no sign of stopping soon. Despite Iran’s claims of having things under control and restoring peace, Iranian people, young and old, are seen pouring into thoroughfares throughout the country demanding justice and that the constitutional human rights in the country be revisited.
With an oxygen can and a mask found next to the dead body, it may just be a case of a stowaway. Neither the German nor Iran authorities have released any statement detailing what happened. Iranian officials have said they await official documentation before proceeding with further investigation.
The decision to suspend all airlines to and from Iran by Lufthansa and Austrian airlines will leave hundreds of flyers who rely on the airlines stranded, as the route has been quite busy since Germany became home to many Iranian-descent populations.
EU Sanction On Iran Deepens
There have been tensions between Iran and the EU following Amini’s death. With the Iran government’s refusal to look into the right of women in the country and the forceful crackdown on protestors, the EU has imposed strict sanctions on them and is mulling visa restrictions for any country affiliated with the government.
On Wednesday, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock announced that Germany would adopt further restrictive measures, including imposing entry restrictions on Iranian nationals over the deteriorating human rights situation in the country.
Do you think this incident is enough for Lufthansa to suspend its flights in Iran? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.