Selin ATAY -TDO- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has accused the U.S. administration of acting “unlawfully” by intercepting a warplane in Syrian airspace aboard Iran's Mahan Airlines passenger plane, which was flying from Tehran to Beirut. "Those who break the law must be stopped before they cause a disaster." Minister Zarif said via Twitter.
Highlighting the fact that the incident took place in Syrian airspace, "The United States is illegally occupying the territory of another state and endangering the safety of innocent civilian passengers by harassing a scheduled civilian aircraft under the pretext of protecting the occupying forces.” Iranian Foreign Minister said.
Iranian Vice-President for Legal Affairs Laya Joneydi said that "The harassment of a passenger aircraft on the territory of a third country is a clear violation of aviation security and the principle of freedom of civilian aircraft.". Also, Juneydi said that they would take the case to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Foreign ministry spokesman Sayed Abbas Mousavi said the investigation was underway to understand what happened to the Beirut-bound plane. Moreover, Abbas Mousavi stated that Tehran’s Ambassador to the UN Takht Ravanchi spoke to UN chief Antonio Guterres and warned the US will bear responsibility if anything happened to the Iranian plane on its way back to Tehran.
In response to allegations, U.S. Central Forces Command (CENTCOM) issued a statement that "A U.S. F-15 conducted a standard visual inspection of a passenger plane belonging to Mahan Air from a safe distance."
Considering the statement came from CENTCOM as “ludicrous”, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said that” Iran leaves no hostile action unanswered. When the time comes, the appropriate response to this irrational act will certainly be given.”
A passenger plane belonging to Mahan Airlines, which was on a Tehran-Beirut flight, was allegedly intercepted by two U.S. fighter planes in Syrian air space. The pilot suddenly maneuvered as the fighter jets dangerously approached the passenger plane and made an emergency landing in Beirut.