Official: US Harassment of Iranian Passenger Plane against Int'l Standards
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President's Chief of Staff Mahmoud Vaezi said that the US warplanes’ aggressive move against Flight No. 1152 of Iran’s Mahan Air was a major violation of international laws and standards.
"The Americans have used all their policies over the past two years, whether in sanctions, maximum pressure, and propaganda warfare and they tried all means to put pressure on the Iranian nation," Vaezi said on Wednesday.
"The act of US harassment of a Mahan airliner is a disgraceful act and contrary to international standards," he added.
"By harassing of the Iranian Mahan airliner, the US intended to provoke a security reaction in Iran to cause public concern," he said.
Two US fighter jets approached a Mahan Air Tehran-Beirut flight over the Syrian sky in a highly risky move and the captain of the Iranian passenger plane was forced to make a sudden change of direction and altitude, causing several injuries.
The captain of Mahan Air Flight No. 1152 later said the pilots of the two hostile planes have identified themselves as US army pilots during a radio contact.
A video posted by a reporter of Iran's state-run TV who was aboard the plane showed an F-15 fighter jet from the window of the plane and comments from a passenger who had blood on his face.
In a later interview from Beirut, the reporter said three passengers have been wounded during "the US planes' intentional move".
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said Iran's Ambassador to the UN Majid Takht-e Ravanchi has informed the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres of the incident, and warned that "in case of any incident for this plane on the way back home, the Islamic Republic of Iran will take the United States responsible".
"A similar message has been sent to the Swiss ambassador to Tehran," the spokesman added. The Swiss embassy hosts the US interests section in Iran in absence of formal diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Mahan Air told FNA later that several passengers wounded during the incident were taken to a hospital in Beirut and others evacuated the plane sound and safe.
It said the passenger jetliner refueled to fly back to Iran.
The jetliner flew back home early Friday morning.
Minister of Road and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami said threatening of Iran’s passenger plane by US fighter jets is a terrorist move, and added that CAOI has filed a complaint at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Speaking to FNA on Friday about the hostile move of the US fighter jets against the Iranian Mahan Airbus late last Thursday, Eslami said, “This is a terrorist act which has been carried out by the US lawless and oppressive government. This is considered an international aggression typical of the lawless American government.”
The Civil Aviation Organization of Iran called for urgent investigation by ICAO into the threat posed by the US fighter jets to the Iranian passenger plane.
"Iran considers the US fighter jets' threats as blatant instance of the violation of international law, regulations and aviation standards," the CAOI wrote in a communique on Friday.
Iranian Vice President for Legal Affairs Laya Joneidi also said disturbing a passenger plane is equal to the violation of indispensable international rules and regulations.
Causing of disturbance for a passenger plane amounts to violation of the inalienable principles of international rules, Joneidi wrote in a note on Friday.
“The behavior of the fighter jets against Flight No. 1152 of Mahan Air and creating trouble for the passenger plane, and that in a third country’s soil [airspace], is in flagrant violation of aviation security and infringing the principle of freedom of flight for civil planes,” she said, and noted, “Furthermore, it is in contrast to article 3 and article 44 of Chicago Convention, the relevant appendices and Montreal 1971 Convention."
Joneindi underlined that the explanations presented by the US are unjustifiable and unconvincing; thus, “the measures taken by these fighters have caused international responsibility for their government and is liable to legal prosecution, including at the ICAO and International Court of Tribunal.”
In relevant remarks on Sunday, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said Iran will surely give fitting and decisive response to any US unlawful act, and added that the American fighter jets’ hostile move against Flight No. 1152 of Iran’s Mahan Air has imperiled regional peace and security.
Mousavi blasted the adventurous and dangerous act and termed it as violation of international aviation law which puts regional peace and security at stake, and noted that Tehran will undoubtedly take an appropriate act of reprisal.
He criticized the US Central Command (CENTCOM) Spokesman Bill Urban’s claims that US military jets were on a routine air mission in the vicinity of the CJTF-OIR at Tanf garrison in Syria.
Mousavi said that the US forces’ presence in Syria and mission of military jets are unlawful, stressing that no one has allowed the US to intercept passenger planes with its military jets in the sky.
He said that Iran will pursue the incident via international bodies especially the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and will not allow US humiliate international law through bullying.
He warned the US and the Israeli regime against fresh adventurism in the region, saying security and stability in West Asia should not be a tool for election campaigns in the US.
In relevant remarks on Monday, Iranian Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Rayeesi said threatening aviation security and aggression against a passenger airliner is in blatant violation of international laws, and added that the only solution to end the US’ evil acts is to expel the Americans from the region.
"The hostile move against Iran’s passenger plane is a glaring violation of international rules," Rayeesi said, noting that the Prosecutor General and his Deputy for International Affairs will seriously pursue the complaints of the passengers of the Iranian Airbus.
He added that the US’ threat to the Iranian Mahan Air Flight No. 1152 is by no means forgivable.
Meanwhile, Rapporteur of the Iranian Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Abolfazl Amouyee said Iran will continue efforts at international bodies to condemn the US for its fighter jets' hostile move against the Iranian passenger flight last Thursday night.
Amouyee said the recent threatening of Flight No. 1152 of Iran’s Mahan Air by American warplanes will be discussed in detail next week, and added that relevant officials from Civil Aviation Organization of Iran (CAOI), Foreign Ministry and General Staff of the Armed Forces will attend the meeting.
He went on to say that the legal, international, humanitarian, air and military aspects of this aggressive act by the terrorist US Central Command (CENTCOM) forces will be discussed at the meeting.
The lawmaker reiterated that Iran will follow up its official complaint at international level.