Iran urges UN to hold US accountable for plane harassment

TEHRAN, Aug. 08 (MNA) – Iran has called on the United Nations to hold the United States accountable for the harassment of an Iranian passenger plane by two US fighter jets in the skies over Syria last month.

Iran's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Majid Takht-Ravanchi said in identical letters to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the UN Security Council circulated on Friday that Iran “expresses its strongest objections against this violation of international law and will pursue the issue through relevant international bodies.”

Takht-Ravanchi said a Mahan Airlines Airbus A310 en route from Tehran to Beirut on July 23 “was aggressively and unexpectedly intercepted” by two US warplanes while traveling through internationally specified air corridors in Syria’s airspace.

“In reaction to the offensive and hazardous maneuverings of the United States fighter jets and in order to save the civil aircraft and passengers’ lives, the airliner had to change altitude abruptly, causing injuries to the passengers on board,” the ambassador said.

He added that in line with provisions of the Convention on International Civil Aviation, Iran’s civil aviation organization contacted Syrian authorities and called for “a prompt and accurate investigation of the incident.”

Takht-Ravanchi said Iranian authorities also launched an investigation after the plane returned from Beirut.

The results of both investigations will be released “after the revision and finalization of the collected data and information," Takht-Ravanchi said.

“It is obvious that the act by the United States fighter jets is a flagrant violation of the aviation security and freedom of civil aviation reflected in the 1944 Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation and its relevant annexes as well as an infringement of the 1971 Montreal Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation,” he said.

On July 23, two US warplanes put the lives of tens of Iranian and Lebanese civilians in danger after conducting dangerous maneuvering near Beirut-bound Mahan Air’s Flight 1152 on Syria’s air. The airliner’s pilot reportedly reduces flight altitude to avoid colliding with the warplanes which led to several injuries among passengers.

Iran immediately reacted to the incident, saying it will give a firm response in proper time.

MR/TSNM2323210

News Code 161998

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