|Iraq searches Syrian-bound Iran flight, finds only humanitarian aid||
TEHRAN – Iraq has stopped and searched an Iranian flight bound for Syria to check for weapons being shipped to Syria, but found only humanitarian aid, Reuters quoted authorities as saying on Sunday.
The search was the second carried out by Baghdad in October.
“Yesterday morning we stopped an Airbus plane from Iran heading to Syria... but we found humanitarian aid, like tents and first aid gear,” Samer Kuba, the deputy head of Iraq’s Civil Aviation Authority, told Reuters.
Kuba said the Iran Air flight was allowed to continue on to Syria later on Saturday.
A Western intelligence report in September claimed that Iran has been using civilian aircraft to fly military personnel and large quantities of weapons almost daily through Iraqi airspace to aid the Syrian government.
Iraq rejected charges it allows Tehran to ferry military equipment or fighters through Iraq. In September, Baghdad said it would subject Syrian-bound Iranian flights to random checks.
On October 3, the Iranian ambassador to Iraq said that the inspection of Iranian planes bound for Syria by Iraq runs contrary to the agreements between Tehran and Baghdad.
“This measure is in contravention of norms and agreements between aviation organizations of the two countries, and we hope that it will not reoccur,” Ambassador Hassan Danaiifar told the Persian service of ISNA after Iraqi authorities made their first inspection of an Iranian aircraft on October 2 and let it fly on to Syria after finding no weapons.
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