Describing the move as “unacceptable”, Ambassador Kazem Qaribabadi urged international community to stand up against such malicious behaviors and force the United States to behave like a normal country, Mehr News Agency (MNA) reported on July 24.
"Isn't it time for the international community to stand united in the face of these US acts of violating international laws, which also threatens international peace and security, and force it (United States) to act as a normal state? Threatening ordinary people and children and women to achieve political goals is the dirtiest kind of politics that will certainly fail,” Qaribabadi wrote in his Instagram page.
Two US fighters carried out dangerous maneuvering near Mahan Air’s Flight 1152 with 163 passengers and crew on board en route to Beirut on Thursday evening (July 23). The US warplanes embarrassing move put lives of the civilian passengers in danger and terrified them. The airliner’s pilot reportedly reduced flight altitude to avoid colliding with the warplanes which has led to several injuries among passengers.
The US Central Command (CENTCOM) which oversees American troops in the Middle East, has later claimed that the two fighters were on their routine mission near the al-Tanf military base and just conducted “a standard visual inspection of a Mahan Air passenger airliner at a safe distance of approximately 1,000 meters from the airliner… to ensure the safety of coalition personnel” at the military base in al-Tanf."
Spokesman of Iran’s Foreign Ministry Seyyed Abbas Mousavi referred to CENTCOM’s claim as “ridiculous,” stressing, “No hostile move against Iranian nationals will go unanswered.”
A video footage of the inside of the Iranian airliner broadcast by the Iranian state TV showed a passenger lying immobile on the floor and another with a wounded nose and forehead, presenting his bloodied face mask to the camera.
Several passengers, some seen screaming and shouting, were injured in the flight maneuver over Syria.
According to a report by IRNA, the Mahan Air pilot made contact on the radio with two US fighter planes, and that the aircraft later landed safely in the Lebanese capital.
In another development, Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Abbas Salehi in a message expressed outrage at the US aggression on the Iranian passenger plane, saying US state terrorism continues in air, on the ground and at the sea.
“From Airbus crash in the Persian Gulf to frightening Mahan Air passengers, US state terrorism continues in the air, ground and sea,” Salehi wrote on his Twitter account on Friday.