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Iran urges UN to hold US accountable for 'adventuristic' harassment of airliner

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran's Ambassador to the UN Majid Takht-Ravanchi

Iran has urged the UN to hold the United States accountable for harassment of an Iranian passenger plane by two US warplanes over Syria last month, calling it an “adventuristic act” and “unlawful.”

In identical letters sent to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the Security Council on Friday, Iran's Ambassador to the UN Majid Takht-Ravanchi complained that Mahan Airlines Airbus A310, which had taken off from Tehran and was heading to Beirut on July 23, “was aggressively and unexpectedly intercepted” by two American F-15 fighter jets in Syrian airspace.

In response to the US warplanes’ “offensive and hazardous maneuvering” and in order to save the passengers’ lives, the pilot had to change altitude abruptly causing injuries to those onboard, he added.

Takht-Ravanchi also noted that in line with provisions of the Convention on International Civil Aviation, the Civil Aviation Organization of Islamic Republic of Iran had contacted Syrian authorities and called for “a prompt and accurate investigation” into the incident.

Iranian authorities also launched a probe after the plane returned from Beirut, he said, stressing that the results of both inquiries would be released “after the revision and finalization of the collected data and information.”

“It is obvious that the act by the US 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,” Iran’s UN envoy said

He further expressed Iran’s “strongest objections against this violation of international law” and emphasized that the country would pursue the issue through relevant international bodies.

“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,” he added.

Following the incident, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said a single F-15 had made a “standard visual inspection” of the Iranian airliner at “a safe distance,” a claim vehemently rejected by Tehran.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani denounced the illegal US maneuvering as an act of “aerial terrorism,” calling on the UN Security Council, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and regional states to break their silence on Washington’s “dangerous mischiefs.”

He also referred to the US downing of Iran Air Airbus A300B2 over the Persian Gulf on July 3, 1988, which killed 290 people, saying the Americans have a history of such acts.

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