Iran 'bars Iraq PM from airspace'

Official says Tehran refused aircraft carrying Nuri al-Maliki to cross its airspace.

    Al-Maliki was travelling to Japan and
    South Korea [EPA]


    Asked about the reports, Mohammad Ali Hosseini, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, implied al-Maliki's jet may have faced an issue over permission to fly across Iran but said it was not an unusual problem.

    "Permission for Maliki's flight is a normal issue. All flights need permission," he told a weekly news conference in Tehran, without giving further details.

    Al-Maliki, a Shia, visited Tehran last September to urge Iran not to interfere in Iraq.

    US accusation

    Washington accuses Iran of stoking violence in Iraq and in January detained five men it says were linked to Iran's Revolutionary Guards and who were backing fighters in the country.

    Iran insists the men are diplomats and has asked for their release.

    Hoshiyar Zebari, Iraq's foreign minister, said last week that the Iraqi government was trying to secure the release of the five Iranians, who were detained by US forces during a raid on an Iranian government office in the northern Iraqi city of Arbil on January 11.

    An Iranian diplomat freed two months after being kidnapped in Baghdad by gunmen wearing Iraqi army uniforms  said on Saturday that he was tortured by US forces while in captivity.

    Iran has previously blamed the US military for his abduction but US officials have denied any role.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.