Global history demonstrating political irrationality

TEHRAN, Jul. 27 (MNA)-Referring to harassment of Iranian airliner by US warplanes and different lawlessness of Trump administration, Prof. Adib-Moghaddam says global history is demonstrating a period of political irrationality and incompetence.

In their last provocative act, two US warplanes harassed an Iranian airliner bound to Beirut over the Syrian sky on Thursday night. US forces claim that their aircraft has kept a safe distance and was in routine mission and approached the airliner to make a visual inspection. The Mahan airliner’s pilot receives TCAS alert and abruptly reduces altitude to avoid collision and this leads to several injuries among 163 passengers and crew on board.

Meanwhile, Tehran has strongly condemned the US action, calling on the international community to stand against US violations of law. Iran says the plane had obtained all the necessary licenses and was flying in a commercial route and that warplanes have no right to inspect the civilian planes in this route also given that Syria is responsible for protecting its airspace.

The issue was discussed with Arshin Adib-Moghaddam Professor in Global Thought and Comparative Philosophies and Chair of the Center for Iranian Studies at the London Middle East Institute.

Here is the full text of the interview: 

How do you assess the harassment of Iranian Mahan Airlines' passenger plane by US warplanes over Syria with respect to international norms and regulations?

The incident has to be analyzed within a wider context of hostility towards Iran that is a central plank of Trump's administration's policy. By all standard available this is a rogue administration whose conduct is reckless and short-sighted. It is this incompetence permeating pretty much everything the current White House does that allowed for the dangerously amateurish maneuver of the two F-15 bombers which was unwarranted and illegal.

What should Iran do to protect its rights under international law and norms?

Iran should pursue every legal channel it can in order to hold the Trump administration accountable. Having said that, any measures are unlikely to yield a major success given the overt lawlessness of this administration and its blatant disregard for international norms of appropriate behavior. Iran needs to continue to diversify its alliance patterns and strengthen its position within the region and beyond in order to balance against any further threats emanating from the United States. There will be a window of opportunity for better relations after this US President is sent to the dustbin of history. 

Any similarity between this incident and downing of an Iranian passenger plane by a US warship over the Persian Gulf a couple of years ago?

This incident could have easily had similarly horrific consequences, given that the hostile context that I mentioned above is very comparable to the aggressive policies that the Reagan administration pursued against Iran in the latter 1980s that led to the downing of Iran Air flight 655 and indeed allowed for the chemical holocaust in Halabja and Sardasht. Global history has demonstrated that it is within such periods of political irrationality and incompetence that the worst atrocities against innocent people happen. 

Interview by Payman Yazdani

News Code 161519

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