By Mehdi Sepahvand

U.S. airline call serving ‘psychological warfare’

May 19, 2019 - 19:49

TEHRAN - A recent call by the United States administration to American airliners to avoid flying over the Persian Gulf is a tool of psychological warfare, according to Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“It is quite clear that [such a call] is aimed at creating psychological warfare and representing the situation as unusual,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi told the Tehran Times.

On Saturday, U.S. media reported that the country’s diplomats had warned that American air carriers and commercial operators flying over the Persian Gulf face a risk from being “misidentified” as tensions between U.S. and Iran continue to escalate.

The warning relayed on Saturday by officials in Kuwait and the UAE came from a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Notice to pilots published on Thursday.

It said that all U.S. air carriers and commercial operators flying over the waters of Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman should exercise caution due to “heightened military activities and increased political tension” in the region.

This presents “an increasing inadvertent risk to U.S. civil aviation operations due to the potential for miscalculation or misidentification,” the FAA said.

It also warned that aircraft flying over the region could experience inadvertent GPS interference and other communications jamming, which could occur “with little to no warning”.

Recently, the U.S. has been claiming that the security situation in the Persian Gulf area is tense as Washington is intensifying its pressure campaign, or in the words of White House officials “maximum pressure”, against Iran. The Central Command (CENTCOM) said its forces in the region had been placed on “high alert”.

Two U.S. guided-missile destroyers entered the Persian Gulf on Thursday, two U.S. defense officials confirmed to USNI News on Thursday.

A few days earlier, the United States’ McFaul and Kearsarge warships left the Persian Gulf while carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) and its strike group quickly left the Mediterranean Sea and sailed swiftly through the Red Sea to the Gulf of Oman.


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