New York Times’ propaganda exposed


The Ghanaian mining company, Engineers & Planners (E&P), says it has not breached any international aviation rule regarding the Bombardier aircraft it flew into Iran last week.
A statement signed by the Executive Director of E&P, Mr Adi Ayitevie, said the aircraft only transported a group of Ghanaian business executives to Iran and had since returned to Ghana.
“The said trip was made in conformity with all international aviation laws,? it said.
The company was reacting to a news item first published by The New York Times newspaper and also reproduced by sections of the Ghanaian media about a US- flagged plane in Iran which was traced to Ghana and linked to the mining company.

US-flagged plane in Iran has ties to Ghana
The story, which was published in the April 18, 2014 edition of The New York Times, had questioned the basis on which a US airline had landed in Iran without approval.
“New details emerged on Friday about an American plane, owned by a small community bank in Utah and mysteriously parked this week at Tehran?s airport, showing that it had been leased by a Ghanaian mining company owned by a brother of Ghana?s President,? the story said.
“A confidential document reviewed by The New York Times showed that the plane is held in trust by the Bank of Utah on behalf of the mining company, Engineers and Planners, which is based in Accra, the Ghanaian capital. As the beneficiary of the trust, the company operates the plane. The company?s chief executive is Ibrahim Mahama, a brother of President John Dramani Mahama,? The New York Times story added.
The report said one image captured the plane flying to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where President Mahama had spoken in September.
But the statement by E&P disputed claims by The New York Times that President Mahama had once been transported by the said aircraft.
“We wish to also state that the President of the Republic of Ghana, Mr John Dramani Mahama, has never been transported by the said aircraft,? it stated.
It said the story by The New York Times was speculative, since the company had not received any queries from US law enforcement agencies about international aviation rules regarding the flagged plane.

Iran-West African ties
According to The New York Times, the visit came as Iran sought to cultivate close relations with West African countries, including Ghana, which also enjoyed warm relations with the United States.
In what seemed like an indirect reference to the chilly relationship between the United States and Iran, Marziyeh Afkham, the Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman who announced the purpose of the visit, in a statement emphasised that the passengers and crew ?were all non-American?.
The plane departed Iran on Thursday, April 17, Ms Afkham said, after a series of meetings between the Ghanaian delegation and top Iranian officials.

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