Iran says its airspace, flight routes are 'completely safe'

Iran-controlled airspace over the Persian Gulf and other flight routes are completely safe.
Iran-controlled airspace over the Persian Gulf and other flight routes are completely safe.PHOTO: REUTERS

DUBAI • Iran's Civil Aviation Organisation said yesterday that the country's airspace was safe for airlines to fly through, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported, amid escalating tension between Teheran and Washington over the shooting down of an unmanned US drone by Iran.

"Iran-controlled airspace over the Persian Gulf and other flight routes are completely safe," spokesman Reza Jafarzadeh was quoted as saying.

The US Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday issued an emergency order prohibiting US operators from flying in an overwater area of Teheran-controlled airspace over the Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman. Some other international airlines also took related precautions.

On Thursday, an Iranian missile destroyed a United States Global Hawk surveillance drone. Teheran said the drone was shot down over its territory but Washington said it occurred in international airspace.

US President Donald Trump said on Friday he aborted a military strike to retaliate for Iran's downing of the drone because it could have killed 150 people and signalled he was open to talks with Teheran.

Iran has vowed to defend its borders, saying yesterday it will respond firmly to any US threat against it.

A senior Arab diplomat said the sharply increased tensions would further harm the crisis-hit Middle East region. The senior diplomat told Reuters, on condition of anonymity: "Confrontation, whatever we think about Trump or Iran, will be disastrous for everyone."

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 23, 2019, with the headline 'Iran says its airspace, flight routes are 'completely safe''. Print Edition | Subscribe