Iran criticizes Iraq for Syria-bound plane checks

File photo shows an Iran Air Airbus A300-605R passenger plane.

Iran’s ambassador to Baghdad has criticized Iraq for forcing Syria-bound Iranian planes to land for inspection, saying the move is inconsistent with the level of bilateral relations between the two neighbors.

Hassan Danaeifar said on Saturday that Iran has repeatedly protested against the move, adding that such measures are not favorable in the light of the high level of relations between the two countries.

Tehran has repeatedly criticized Iraqi officials over the inspection of Iranian planes carrying humanitarian aid to crisis-hit Syria.

Under pressure from the US, Iraq has several times stopped and searched Damascus-bound Iranian planes from Tehran for weapons; however the aircrafts were allowed to continue their journey as no prohibited items were found on board.

“We know that foreign pressures especially from the US cause Iraq to take such measures, but they have done this many times and of course every time their claims proved to be untrue and completely false,” Danaeifar said.

The ambassador noted that Iran has voiced its protest against the move in meetings held between the two countries’ officials.

In April, Baghdad checked Iranian aircrafts for three consecutive days. The searches, however, found nothing but humanitarian aid and commercial goods.

On July 13, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said in an interview with the London-based Asharq al-Awsat that Iraq has been conducting random checks on Iranian planes bound for Syria since September 2012.

The Iraqi foreign minister added that these checks had only found “non-lethal aid like medicines and food.”

Since mid-March 2011, Syria has been experiencing a deadly unrest, which has killed many people including large numbers of security personnel.

By Press TV


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