Iran to ‘decisively respond’ to U.S. harassment of passenger plane: MP

July 25, 2020 - 21:41

TEHRAN- Seyyed Nasser Mousavi Laregani, a member of the Parliament’s presiding board, said on Saturday that Iran will decisively respond to the U.S. harassment of an Iranian passenger airliner over Syria.

“Definitely, this criminal act of the U.S. will not go unanswered. The Islamic Republic of Iran will decisively respond to this U.S. act, which is illegal and in violation of international law,” Mousavi Laregani told the Fars news agency.

Two U.S. warplanes dangerously came close to Mahan Air’s Airbus A310 passenger plane over Syria on Thursday, forcing the pilot to suddenly change altitude to avoid a collision. The plane was en route from Tehran to Beirut.  At least 12 people onboard were injured. Iran strongly denounced the U.S. move as a “terrorist act” and submitted a letter of complaint to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

“The Americans have always been domineering and aggressive and they aren’t going to give up their behavior,” said Mousavi Laregani, the representative of Falavarjan in the Parliament.

He also called the “cowardly harassment” of the Iranian plane a “state terrorism”, adding that the U.S. must wait for Iranian response to “this barbaric act”.

“This is not the first time that [the U.S.] terrorist administration [commits such a crime] and it will not be the last time. Therefore, it shouldn’t be allowed to get away with its barbaric acts without cost,” cautioned the MP.

He also alluded to IRGC Quds Force commander Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated by an American drone near Baghdad’s International Airport on January 3, 2020, saying that “the U.S. will pay the price for these acts.”  

On Friday, Seyyed Abbas Mousavi, the spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, strongly denounced the U.S. “adventurist and dangerous” move against Mahan Air’s Beirut-bound passenger plane, saying the U.S. had no rights to inspect civilian planes in the sky.  

“Both the presence of U.S. troops in Syria and the air missions of their warplanes were illegal. More importantly, no one has allowed the U.S. to inspect passenger planes in the sky using its fighter jets,” the spokesman said in a statement.

SKM/PA

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