LONDON: British Airways (BA) on Thursday become the first British airline in four years to fly directly to Iran following the lifting of some sanctions against Tehran. Flagship carrier BA is to operate six flights per week between London Heathrow and Tehran – with the first service set to depart from London. BA first offered flights between London and Tehran in 1946 but ended its service in 2007 as sanctions were imposed on Iran over its nuclear programme. Another Britain-based airline – BMI – continued to offer flights to Iran but the service ended in 2012. Iran and Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States agreed a nuclear deal last year – paving the way for a softening in sanctions and the resumption of flights. “The British Airways has a long history of flying to Iran so we are very excited to be launching our new six times a week service – direct from Heathrow to Tehran,” said British Airways Network and Fleet Head Sean Doyle. “Iran is a fascinating country, full of amazing and surprising places for tourists to visit and discover its sophisticated and ancient culture,” Doyle said. The recent lifting of sanctions allowed Iran to re-open for business and paved the way for commerce to re-connect with its economy, he added. The service will be operated by four Boeing 777s and will take just under six hours.