Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Iranian Fighter Jets Force Foreign Jet to Land

From PressTV:
A top Iranian military official has denied reports that a US Falcon Jet violated Iran's airspace and was forced to land in the country.

An informed military source told Press TV that the Falcon which was forced to land in Iran last week did not belong to the US Air Force.

According to the official, the Jet intended to fly over the country on September 30 but was denied permission due to being a military aircraft.

The official added that a few hours later the Falcon changed course and attempted to enter Iran's airspace by announcing to be a civilian aircraft.

However, after realizing that the two planes were in fact the same, Iranian fighter jets forced the Falcon Jet to land.

The military official said that none of the passengers onboard the Falcon were American citizens and they were allowed to fly out of the country after Iranian authorities found them not to be harboring ill intentions.

Some news agencies earlier reported that a US Falcon Jet had been forced to land in Iran and that its passengers were senior US military officials.

Earlier, Fars New Agency had mistakenly reported that the Falcon was a US plane carrying high ranking US military officials. Judging from these reports as well as an earlier report of Iranian F-4s being scrambled for intercept, Iranian fighter jets appear to be in a high state of readiness. They appear to be aggressively defending Iranian airspace.

Update: From PressTV:
Hungary's Defense Ministry has said that an aircraft forced to land in Iran last week was carrying Hungarian military officials.

Some news agencies had earlier reported that the plane was a Falcon jet carrying senior US military officials.

On Tuesday, an informed military source in Iran told Press TV that it was not a US aircraft.

The Hungarian Defense Ministry issued a statement on Tuesday saying that the plane was carrying a four-member Hungarian military delegation en route to Afghanistan and had strayed into Iranian airspace on Sept. 30 due to an "administrative" error, AP reported.

The plane was allowed to continue to Afghanistan after it was determined that the violation of Iran's airspace was accidental, the statement added.

The Hungarian delegation was flying in a civilian Hawker 800 plane rented from the private Hungarian firm JAS Cargoways.

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