Harassment of Iranian plane ‘blatant example of U.S. terrorist acts’: envoy

July 26, 2020 - 22:16

TEHRAN – Iranian ambassador to Lebanon Mohammad-Jalal Firouznia has condemned the harassment of an Iranian passenger plane by the U.S., saying it was a “blatant example of terrorist acts by the U.S.” in West Asia.

“The move by the American fighter jets is a blatant example of terrorist and criminal acts committed by Washington in the region,” Firouznia said on Sunday, Press TV reported.

He made the remarks at Beirut’s Al Rasoul Al Aazam Hospital, where he visited passengers injured on the Iranian airliner after dangerous maneuvering by U.S. fighter jets over the Syrian airspace forced the plane to quickly change altitude in order to avoid a collision.

“Iran will take all necessary juridical and legal action to condemn the actions of U.S. fighter jets, and will pursue the issue at the United Nations, the International Civil Aviation Organization and related courts, especially with regard to passengers and those injured.”

The envoy said the incident is by no means justifiable, adding that the United States bears the responsibility for all the consequences of this terrorist and cowardly act.

According to Firouznia, all regional problems stem from the Americans’ illegitimate presence, and their expulsion is the only way to end insecurity and threats in West Asia.

“The harassment of the Mahan Air passenger plane by U.S. fighter jets is a criminal act committed by the Americans. They had no right to approach the plane in the first place. By doing so, they endangered the lives of all passengers on the flight and threatened international aviation security. We will definitely follow up on this issue,” he added.

On Thursday night, U.S. warplanes operating illegally in Syria conducted aggressive maneuvering close to an Iranian Mahan Air flight over Syria’s al-Tanf region. 

Mahan Air’s Flight 1152 had taken off from Tehran and was en route to the Lebanese capital Beirut when the incident happened.

Iran said harassing a passenger plane is a violation of the principles of international law.

“The harassment of the Iranian passenger plane by U.S. warplanes constitutes a clear violation of international law as well as aviation standards and regulations,” Iran Civil Aviation Organization said in a statement.

It also urged the ICAO to look into the issue as soon as possible.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Friday denounced the harassment of the passenger plane, calling on the international community to stop the U.S. “outlaws” before a disaster happens. 

“[the] U.S. illegally occupies territory of another State and then harasses a scheduled civil airliner—endangering innocent civilian passengers—ostensibly to protect its occupation forces. Audacity to compound lawlessness upon lawlessness. These outlaws must be stopped before disaster,” Zarif tweeted. 

Iranian Transport Minister Mohammad Eslami also reacted angrily to the harassment, calling it a “terrorist act” and said the move should be met with condemnation by the international community.

Eslami said Iran has “submitted its legal complaint to ICAO in black and white.”

MH/PA

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