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President Obama has warned that Iran is not open for business, even as the United States has loosened some of its punishing economic sanctions as part of an interim nuclear pact.
Yet, on Tuesday morning, Iran had an unlikely visitor: a plane, owned by the Bank of Utah, a community bank in Ogden that has 13 branches throughout the state. Bearing a small American flag on its tail, the aircraft was parked in a highly visible section of Mehrabad Airport in Tehran.
But from there, the story surrounding the plane, and why it was in Iran — where all but a few United States and European business activities are prohibited — grows more mysterious.
While federal aviation records show the plane is held in a trust by the Bank of Utah, Brett King, one of its executives in Salt Lake City, said, “We have no idea why that plane was at that airport.”
He said that the Bank of Utah acted as a trustee for investors who have a financial stake in the plane and that the bank was investigating further.
The Federal Aviation Administration said it had no information about the investors in the aircraft or who was operating it. Officials waiting at the gangway at Mehrabad Airport said only that the aircraft was “V.I.P.”