Iran to legally pursue US ‘act of terrorism’ against its Beirut-bound flight
Iran has condemned the harassment of its Beirut-bound passenger plane by two US fighter jets over the Syrian airspace, vowing to lodge a complaint over the “unlawful” act at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
In a statement on Friday, the Civil Aviation Organization of Iran said it will seriously pursue the US fighter jets’ harassment of Mahan Air flight 1151 over the Syrian airspace on Thursday.
The Iranian organization urged the ICAO to immediately address the move, which is “a clear violation of the international law and the aviation standards and regulations.”
Iranian Vice-President for Legal Affairs Laya Joneidi also said on Friday that the harassment of a passenger plane in a third country is a blatant violation of aviation security, a breach of the freedom of the air for civil flights, and contradicts the Article 3 and Article 44 of the Chicago Convention as well as the 1971 Montreal Convention.
Joneidi said the US government is responsible for the fighter jets’ dangerous maneuvering, and Iran can legally pursue the issue at the ICAO Council and the International Court of Justice.
Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami described the US air piracy as an “act of terrorism”, urging the international community to condemn the “poisonous” move.
“Our passenger plane was moving at the international commercial flight route and corridor, and the American fighter jets’ threatening move was unlawful and inhumane,” he added.
He also called on the governments of Lebanon and Syria to file a complaint against Washington at the International Civil Aviation Organization.
“The ICAO is also expected to issue a statement against this inhumane move by the US,” the Iranian minister said.
Mahan Air’s Flight 1152 had taken off from Tehran and was en route to the Lebanese capital when the incident happened over Syria’s hugely-strategic al-Tanf region.
In response, the US Central Command said a single F-15 had made a “visual inspection” of the Iranian airliner “in accordance with international standards… to ensure the safety of coalition personnel” at the military base in al-Tanf.
The command added that the US F-15 was on a “routine air mission” in Syria and conducted “a standard visual inspection of a Mahan Air passenger airliner at a safe distance of approximately 1,000 meters”.
“Once the F-15 pilot identified the aircraft as a Mahan Air passenger plane, the F-15 safely opened distance from the aircraft.”
Forgoing any permission from Damascus, the US has been operating in the Arab country since 2014 under the pretext of fighting the Daesh terrorist group. The US, however, continues its occupation even as Syria defeated the Takfiri terrorists in late 2017.
Source: Press TV