BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:00 P.M.) – Tehran confirmed that it had submitted a formal complaint to the International Civil Aviation Organization, describing the American fighter’s interception of an Iranian civilian plane over Syrian territory as “terrorist and aggressive behavior”.
On Friday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused the United States of risking a civil plane disaster.
“The United States has intercepted a civilian passenger plane on a regular flight, endangering innocent civilian passengers by claiming to protect its occupying forces … These illegal acts must be ended before a disaster occurs,” Zarif tweeted
The Iranian Foreign Ministry said that this confrontation may be linked to the upcoming U.S. presidential elections.
“Security of West Asia should not become a game in the American election campaign,” said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi, without giving further details.
“Iran will not let any hostile step against it pass without reckoning and will respond decisively and appropriately to any irrational step at the appropriate time,” he added.
The semi-official Iranian Student News Agency (ISNA) quoted Transport Minister Mohammad Islami as saying, “Tehran filed a formal complaint with the International Civil Aviation Organization and yesterday, Thursday, it was described as an act of terrorism and aggression.”
Iranian media quoted the Vice President for Legal Affairs, Laya Junaidi, as saying that “the explanations provided so far do not provide justification, and are not convincing.”
“Harassing a passenger plane over the territory of a third country is a clear violation of aviation security and the freedom of civil aircraft,” she added.