July 25, 2020 | 12:47pm
Passengers on an Iranian airplane “harassed” by a US fighter jet may sue the United States in Iran’s courts, the country’s judiciary has ruled.
Iranian state media on Friday said several passengers on an Air Mahan flight from Tehran to Beirut were injured after the pilot was forced to rapidly change altitude to avoid a collision with a US F-15 fighter jet, Reuters reported. The US military has disputed this, saying the aircraft was flying at a safe distance from the airplane while performing a routine inspection of the flight.
“All passengers on Mahan Air Flight 1152, Iranians and non-Iranian, can sue the terrorist US military — commanders, perpetrators, supervisors and deputies — in Iranian courts for moral and physical damages,” Ali Bagheri-Kani, who runs the human rights office of the state’s judiciary, told state media.
The incident is the latest escalation of tensions between the United States and Iran which has seen relations deteriorate markedly during President Trump’s administration.
In January, the United States killed Iranian general and terrorist leader Qassem Soleimani in an airstrike. In retaliation, Iran pelted two airbases in Iraq housing US troops with more than a dozen ballistic missiles. The country also accidentally shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane, killing all 176 people on board.