“It is incumbent upon the United Nations to reject such an unlawful and yet adventurist act and hold the United States accountable for this irresponsible behavior,” Takht- Ravanchi wrote in two letters sent to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the Security Council on Friday.
He complained that Flight No. 1152 of Mahan Air, bound from Tehran to Beirut, “was aggressively and unexpectedly intercepted” by two American fighter jets on July 23 in Syrian airspace.
The envoy voiced Iran’s “strongest objections against this violation of international law” and emphasized the issue would be seriously followed up by the country through relevant international bodies.
Due to the US warplanes’ “offensive and hazardous maneuvering” and in order to save the passengers’ lives, the pilot had to instantly reduce altitude causing injuries to those onboard, the envoy added.
Takht- Ravanchi went on to say that in line with provisions of the Convention on International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Civil Aviation Organization of Islamic Republic of Iran (CAOI) had called on Syrian authorities for “a prompt and accurate probe” into the hostile move.
Iranian officials also conducted an inquiry after the civil plane returned from Beirut, he said, noting that the results of both investigations 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 in blatant 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 added.
Two US fighter jets approached a Mahan Air Tehran-Beirut flight over the Syrian sky in a highly risky move and the captain of the Iranian passenger plane was forced to make a sudden change of direction and altitude, causing several injuries.
The captain of Mahan Air Flight No. 1152 later said the pilots of the two hostile planes have identified themselves as US army pilots during a radio contact.
A video posted by a reporter of Iran's state-run TV who was aboard the plane showed an F-15 fighter jet from the window of the plane and comments from a passenger who had blood on his face.
In a later interview from Beirut, the reporter said three passengers have been wounded during "the US planes' intentional move".
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said Iran's Ambassador to the UN Majid Takht-Ravanchi has informed the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres of the incident, and warned that "in case of any incident for this plane on the way back home, the Islamic Republic of Iran will take the United States responsible".
"A similar message has been sent to the Swiss ambassador to Tehran," the spokesman added. The Swiss embassy hosts the US interests section in Iran in absence of formal diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Mahan Air told FNA later that several passengers have been wounded during the incident and have been taken to a hospital in Beirut and others have evacuated the plane sound and safe.
The jetliner flew back home early Friday morning July 24.
In relevant remarks, Iran's Judiciary Deputy Chief for International and Human Rights Affairs Ali Baqeri said the two US fighter jets' violation and threatening move against Iran’s Mahan Air passenger flight is a clear manifestation of aerial piracy, and noted that the body is legally and judicially following up the “systematic breach of international aviation” by the American regime.
Baqeri said that failure to address the issue seriously and effectively will lead to violation of international peace and security.
He referred to the “systematic audacity” of the American regime in blatant violation of international rules and regulations, saying, “Aggression of the terrorist US Army central command [CENTCOM] against Iran’s passenger plane over Syria is in violation of freedom of flight for civil airplanes and is also in violation of fundamental principles and regulations of international human rights.”
Stressing that the recent aggression of the US fighter jets against the Iranian Mahan Airbus is not the first of such measures by the American terrorist army, the Judiciary Deputy Chief said, “The American drone attack on the convoy of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on January 3, the US Navy’s shooting down of Iranian Passenger Airliner over the Persian Gulf in June 1988 and interception of Aseman Airliner in April 2017 indicate that “systematic violation” of freedom of flight and aviation security has turned into a routine conduct of the American criminal regime in the face of international rules and regulations.”
Minister of Road and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami said threatening of Iran’s passenger plane by US fighter jets is a terrorist move, and added that CAOI has filed a complaint at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Speaking to FNA on July 24 about the hostile move of the US fighter jets against the Iranian Mahan Airbus late on Thursday, Eslami said, “This is a terrorist act which has been carried out by the US lawless and oppressive government. This is considered an international aggression typical of the lawless American government.”
The Civil Aviation Organization of Iran called for urgent investigation by ICAO into the threat posed by the US fighter jets to the Iranian passenger plane.
"Iran considers the US fighter jets' threats as blatant instance of the violation of international law, regulations and aviation standards," the CAOI wrote in a communique on July 24.
Iranian Vice President for Legal Affairs Laya Joneidi also said disturbing a passenger plane is equal to the violation of indispensable international rules and regulations.
Causing of disturbance for a passenger plane amounts to violation of the inalienable principles of international rules, Joneidi wrote in a note on July 24.
“The behavior of the fighter jets against Flight No. 1152 of Mahan Air and creating trouble for the passenger plane, and that in a third country’s soil [airspace], is in flagrant violation of aviation security and infringing the principle of freedom of flight for civil planes,” she said, and noted, “Furthermore, it is in contrast to article 3 and article 44 of Chicago Convention, the relevant appendices and Montreal 1971 Convention."
Joneindi underlined that the explanations presented by the US are unjustifiable and unconvincing; thus, “the measures taken by these fighters have caused international responsibility for their government and is liable to legal prosecution, including at the ICAO and International Court of Tribunal.”