US Plane Forced to Make Emergency Landing in Iran
A small U.S. commercial plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Iran earlier this month, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported Sunday.
Head of the state-owned Iran Airports Company, Mahmoud Rasoulinejad, announced that the plane landed approximately three weeks ago in an airport located in the southern city of Ahvaz due to technical failure.
“The 3-member plane faced technical problems while passing over Iran's airspace and this is the reason that the airport permitted it to make a landing,” he said.
"After landing, the crew traveled on to countries around the Persian Gulf and the plane is currently being repaired," he added.
Rasoulinejad did not specify who owned the aircraft, where it was headed or the nationality of the crew members.
The aircraft will leave the country as soon as the repair work is completed, he said.
It was not clear why the announcement was not made earlier.
Ahvaz lies in southwest Iran, an important area for the country's oil industry and adjacent to the border with Iraq.
Earlier this month Iran claimed to have captured of a compact U.S. intelligence ScanEagle drone in its airspace, which U.S. officials have denied.
In December 2011 Iranian forces announced they had captured a U.S. RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft, one of America’s most advanced spy aircraft, while it was flying over the Iranian city of Kashmar, some 140 miles (225km) from the Afghan border.