Iran asks UN to hold US accountable for plane interception
Iran is urging the United Nations to hold the United States accountable for the interception of an Iranian passenger plane by two US fighter jets in the skies over Syria last month, which is called an 'unlawful' and an 'adventuristic act'.
Iran Press/ Europe: Iran's UN ambassador, Majid Takht Ravanchi in identical letters to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the UN Security Council circulated Friday expressed Iran's strongest objections against this violation of international law and emphasized that Iran will pursue the issue through relevant international bodies.
Ravanchi said: "A Mahan Airlines Airbus A310 en route from Tehran to Beirut on July 23 was aggressively and unexpectedly intercepted by two U.S. F-15 fighter jets while traveling through internationally specified air corridors in Syria's airspace."
"In reaction to the offensive and hazardous maneuverings of the United States fighter jets and in order to save the civil aircraft and passengers' lives, the airliner had to change altitude abruptly, causing injuries to the passengers on board," the ambassador said.
The Iranian ambassador said that in line with provisions of the Convention on International Civil Aviation, Iran's civil aviation organization contacted Syrian authorities and called for a prompt and accurate investigation of the incident. He said that Iranian authorities also launched an investigation after the plane returned from Beirut.
"The results of both investigations will be released after the revision and finalization of the collected data and information by both teams," Takht Ravanchi said.
"It is obvious that the act by the United States fighter jets is a flagrant violation of the aviation security and freedom of civil aviation reflected in the 1944 Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation and its relevant annexes as well as an infringement of the 1971 Montreal Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation," he said.
Ravanchi said: "It is incumbent upon the United Nations to reject such an unlawful and yet adventuristic act and hold the United States accountable for this irresponsible behavior."
On 23 July, a Mahan Air Airbus A310-304 (registered EP-MNF) operated flight W51152 between Tehran, Iran, and Beirut, Lebanon. While flying above Syria, however, the aircraft was intercepted by a U.S. Air Force F-15. The United States issued a statement after footage that appeared online show passengers loudly screaming while the aircraft is making a sudden change of direction.
"The US Central Command claimed that an F-15 on a routine air mission conducted a standard visual inspection of a Mahan Air passenger airliner at a safe distance of approximately 1,000 meters from the airliner. Once the F-15 pilot identified the aircraft as a Mahan Air passenger plane, the F-15 safely opened distance from the aircraft," Centcom said in a statement.
Iran rejected the claim. 221/207