Iran’s UN Ambassador Majid Takht-Ravanchi said in identical letters to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the UN Security Council that Iran “expresses its strongest objections against this violation of international law and will pursue the issue through relevant international bodies.”
Takht-Ravanchi said a Mahan Airlines Airbus A310 en route from Tehran to Beirut on July 23 “was aggressively and unexpectedly intercepted” by two US F-15 fighter jets while traveling through internationally specified air corridors in Syria’s airspace, AP reported.
“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 onboard,” the ambassador said.
US Navy Capt. Bill Urban, a Central Command spokesman, said at the time of the incident that a US F-15 “conducted a standard visual inspection” of the Iranian plane “at a safe distance of approximately 1,000 meters from the airliner.”
The airliner’s pilot had to swiftly lower the altitude to avoid a collision with the American warplanes. The sudden swerve resulted in injuries to some of the passengers, who hit their heads against the plane’s ceiling. The flight, nevertheless, landed safely in the Lebanese capital, and all the passengers left the aircraft.
The Iranian envoy 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 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.
“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,” Takht-Ravanchi said.