Turkey Orders Iranian Plane to Land for Cargo Inspection
Turkey ordered an Iranian civilian plane heading for Damascus to make an emergency landing at Diyarbakir airport in the east of the country late Tuesday to inspect its cargo, Tehran radio reported Wednesday.
The aircraft, whose make was not given, belonged to the Iranian Company Caspian, the radio said. It quoted an Iranian aviation representative in Istanbul as saying the move had been "suggested to the Turkish authorities by Israel."
The radio said the Turkish foreign ministry had confirmed the report, stressing that the decision was taken in the framework of international civil aviation regulations. The Iranian authorities in Tehran had not reacted to the incident.
Caspian makes several flights a week to Damascus where Iranian tourists and pilgrims go to visit the holy places of Shiite Islam.
The conservative Tehran Times reported the incident on Wednesday, saying that "according to the Turkish military authorities, the Iranian plane was suspected of carrying arms for the Palestinians."
Quoted by the paper, an unidentified official at the Iranian foreign ministry said that the incident "confirms once again that Turkey is ready to do anything on the orders of the Zionist regime and the American administration to serve their interests."
Tehran Times said the plane "was not carrying arms but medications for the Palestinians who were wounded by Israeli soldiers." – ANKARA (AFP)
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