‘U.S. violates Chicago Convention by harassing Iranian plane’

July 28, 2020 - 19:3

TEHRAN - Ahmad Momenirad, a professor of international law from the University of Tehran, has said that the United States violated the Chicago Convention by harassing an Iranian passenger plane in Syria’s sky.

“The action taken by the United States’ fighter jets in harassing the Iranian passenger plane is clear violation of the Chicago Convention, Montreal 1971 Convention and also regulations of ICAO [the International Civil Aviation Organization],” Momenirad  told IRNA in an interview published on Tuesday.

The professor noted, “It is mentioned in the introduction of the Montreal Convention that illegal actions against security of a country’s plane endanger the people and properties, disrupt the airlines’ work and undermine the people’s trust on security of flights.”

Momenirad noted that the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Mahan airline and also the passengers can file complaint against the U.S.

U.S. warplanes operating illegally in Syria conducted aggressive maneuvers close to an Iranian Mahan Air flight over Syria’s al-Tanf region on Thursday. The plane was en route to the Lebanese capital, Beirut.

A passenger, who was aboard the Mahan Air Flight 1152, has sustained a spinal cord injury during the U.S. fighter jets’ harassment of the plane.

Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi said on Monday that the U.S. act in threatening the passenger plane is “not forgivable”.

In a meeting with top judicial officials, he called on the national prosecutor general and the Judiciary’s deputy director for international affairs to pursue the complaints of the passengers.

In a letter to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif published late Saturday, Prosecutor General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri said Iran must legally pursue the harassment against the passenger plane.

“Once again, the United States turned another page in its dark record against the sacred system of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its fighter jets conducted threatening and dangerous moves close to Mahan flight number 1152 in Syrian airspace on Thursday, July 23,” the national prosecutor remarked.

The prosecutor said passengers and crew were hurt as the pilot was forced to abruptly drop altitude.

Montazeri said the U.S. act was contrary to international law and the Chicago and Montreal conventions.

“So, it is essential for the executive bodies, including Civil Aviation Organization and Mahan airline, to cooperate with the Syrian government and ICAO [the International Civil Aviation Organization] to implement articles 13 and 17 of the Chicago Convention and receive the report on the incident as soon as possible and take necessary legal action according to articles 44, 54, 55, 84 and 85 of the Chicago Convention,” he stated.

Laya Joneidi, the presidential aide for legal affairs, also said the action against the passenger plane is a violation of the principles of international law.

She said the actions taken by the U.S. fighters are a violation of Articles 3 and 44 of the International Civil Aviation Convention (Chicago Convention).

According to Joneidi, the explanations provided by the U.S. so far are unjustified and unconvincing.

The actions taken by the fighters will bring international responsibility for their respective governments and open the way for Iran to take legal action against the U.S. in the ICAO Council and the International Court of Justice (ICJ).