TEHRAN (Press Shia) – The spokesman for Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) rejected claims that some global airlines are redirecting flights over the country due to safety concerns, saying the Iranian airspace is fully safe and secure.
The Iran-controlled airspace over the Persian Gulf and other flight routes are completely safe, Reza Jafarzadeh said on Saturday.
“Iran’s sky is open to all flights of airlines and so far we have not received any report saying that airlines that had chosen the Iranian airspace as part of their routes redirected their flights,” he said.
Foreign airliners’ willingness to fly over Iran has its roots in the high security of the country’s airspace, the spokesman went on to say.
The remarks came as some Western media claimed that a number of global airlines are redirecting flights to avoid Iran-controlled airspace over the Gulf of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz, citing safety concerns, after a recent move by Iran’s forces to shoot down a US spy drone over its territorial waters.
The IRGC said on Thursday that a US spy drone that violated the Iranian territorial airspace in the early hours of the day was shot down by the IRGC Aerospace Force’s air defense unit near the Kooh-e-Mobarak region in the southern province of Hormozgan.
The intruding drone was reportedly shot by Iran’s homegrown air defense missile system “Khordad-3rd”.
In comments made a few hours after the incident, IRGC Commander Major General Hossein Salami said the shooting down of the US aircraft had a straightforward message that any foreign intrusion into Iran’s sovereign territories would draw a crushing response.
“The downing of the US drone had an explicit, decisive and clear message that defenders of the Islamic Iran’s borders will show decisive and knockout reactions to aggression against this territory by any alien,” he said.
“Borders are our redline, and any enemy violating these borders will not go back,” the commander underlined.
He also made it clear that Iran is not seeking war with any country but is fully prepared for any confrontation. “Today’s incident was a clear sign of such a precise message.”
The general also reminded the enemies that the only way for them to remain safe is to respect Iran’s territorial integrity, national security and vital interests.