25 July, 2020

Iran accuses U.S. of act of terror.

Iran is accusing the U.S. of terrorist actions after an Airbus A310 of  Mahan Air operating a regular scheduled flight from Tehran to Beruit was intercepted by U.S Fighters over Syria on Thursday.

The passenger aircraft had 150 people on board at the time of the incident and reportedly had to take evasive collision avoidance manoeuvres, which left 12 passengers with various injuries, according to official Iranian sources.

Iran said it considers the manoeuvres of two U.S. F15 aircraft in very close proximity to a civilian aircraft on Thursday to have been an “act of terror,” and, according to Transport Minister Mohammad Eslami it has the right to pursue the matter legally.  It is understood that the ministry has also lodged an official complaint to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on Friday.

“Harassing a passenger plane is a terrorist act. How can a passenger plane that is flying it its commercial route in accordance with aviation protocols be attacked and threatened by another country’s warplanes?” Transport Minister Mohammad Eslami asked at a media briefing on Friday, adding "Unfortunately, 12 people, including the flight’s crew and passengers, have been hurt in this terrorist act,”.

Laya Joneydi, Iran's Vice President of legal affairs said “the explanations provided so far [by the US side] are unjustified and unconvincing. - The harassment of a passenger plane on the territory of a third country is a clear violation of aviation security and freedom of civilian aircraft,”.

U.S. Central Command issued a statement saying that the U.S. F-15 aircraft were on a mission to conduct a visual inspection of the passenger aircraft as it passed over Syria, "Once the F-15 pilot identified the aircraft as a Mahan Air passenger plane, the F-15 safely opened distance from the aircraft," 

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