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US harassment of Iranian passenger plane an act of willful state terror

An image grab from a video released by Iran Press news agency on July 24, 2020 shows a fighter jet seen from an Iranian passenger plane after it was intercepted by US F-15 warplanes while flying over Syria.

By Stephen Lendman

Trump regime harassment of Iranian Mahan Air Flight 1152 en route to Beirut from Tehran through an established air corridor in Syrian airspace was a malicious and unlawful act of willful state terror intending to harm passengers and crew on board.

Some reports said two Pentagon warplanes were involved in the incident. Others indicated a single F-15.

The Thursday incident could have caused the passenger plane to crash, killing all on board if occurred.

Mahan Air’s pilot took evasive action to avoid a disastrous mid-air collision.

His sharp change of altitude resulted in injuries to some passengers on board.

In response, the Civil Aviation Organization of Iran (CAOI), citing “appendix 13 of the Chicago Treaty,” called for a “swift and precise investigation into the incident…”

“(T)he technical team of Iran has started (its own) investigation after the plane landed at Imam Khomeini International Airport,” adding:

“The details of this incident will be released after studying all technical data and information in accordance with investigating the incident and also some documented and compelling information given by…Syrian (civil) aviation…”

CAOI called the incident a “blatant violation of international law, (as well as) aviation regulations and standards.”

The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said the hostile incident occurred in airspace over the “Al-Tanf border-crossing with Iraq” — the area illegally occupied by Pentagon forces and CIA operatives.

A US CENTCOM statement falsely claimed that a US F-15 kept a safe distance of 1,000 from the Iranian aircraft.

It failed to explain that Washington’s presence in Syria constitutes a major UN Charter breach, including illegal occupation of the country’s territory and use of its airspace.

CENTCOM spokesman Capt. Bill Urban falsely claimed that the Pentagon’s F-15 was on “a routine air mission (sic),” adding:

The warplane conducted “a standard visual inspection of a Mahan Air passenger airliner” — a bald-faced Big Lie.

Standard procedure for checking information about another aircraft is done by oral communication — surely not by dangerously harassing the passengers and crew, causing injuries on board, risking a possible mid-air disaster or crash of the Mahan Air plane.

The incident was an unacceptable US provocation, CENTCOM and US press agent media claiming otherwise fooling no one aware of Trump regime war on Iran by other means that risks turning things hot.

Iranian Transport and Urban Development Minister Mohammad Eslami correctly called the incident a willful US “act of terror,” explaining that two US warplanes were involved.

According to the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) News, Mahan Air’s pilot warned the Pentagon warplanes about keeping a safe distance away, explaining that their pilots identified themselves as Americans.

Press TV quoted Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif, saying the following:

“The US illegally occupies territory of another state and then harasses a scheduled civil airliner— endangering innocent civilian passengers (and crew), (on the phony pretext of) protecting its (illegal) occupation forces,” adding:

The Trump regime displayed “audacity to compound lawlessness upon lawlessness. These outlaws must be stopped before disaster” occurs.

The ICAO said it’ll lodge an official complaint with the  International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) about the “unlawful” US action.

Both right wings of its war party consistently and flagrantly breach international and its own constitutional law — operating extrajudicially by their own rules exclusively.

Hostile US action occurs repeatedly against other nonthreatening nations.

The US is an unparalleled menace to world peace, stability, the rule of law, and fundamental rights of sovereign states and their people everywhere.

That’s what the scourge of imperialism is all about.

Stephen Lendman, born in 1934 in Boston, started writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.


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