“Unfortunately, the Americans do not consider themselves bound by international law and do not believe in international law,” Dr Gholamreza Khaji told the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations website, referring to US fighters jets attack on Iranian aircraft over Syria. They think that American law is superior, and they consider the laws of their domestic system to govern international affairs.
The US military’s Central Command, which oversees American troops in the region, said the F-15 aircraft was conducting a visual inspection of the Iranian aircraft when it passed near the Tanf garrison in Syria where US forces are present.
Captain Bill Urban, the senior Central Command spokesman, said the F-15 “conducted a standard visual inspection of a Mahan Air passenger airliner at a safe distance of about 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) from the airliner”. He claimed the intercept was carried out in accordance with international standards.
Referring to documents that directly and indirectly guarantee the safety of passengers during the flight, this faculty member of the Ferdowsi University of Mashhad emphasized: In several ways, this action of the Americans is against the law. Under the 1944 Chicago Convention, the flight and safety of all passenger and cargo aircraft registered with ICAO, including Mahan Airlines, is protected from the origin to destination under the auspices of this International Convention as well as the country of destination.
“According to the Chicago Convention, this aircraft must fly from the origin to destination without any interference, whether from the destination country or a third country that the Americans have violated,” Khaji said.
American Fighter’s Action Aggression, Violation of Intl Regulations
He said that when Syria allows a passenger plane to enter its airspace in accordance with the conventions and agreements of the countries, it is naturally responsible for its security. The presence of American fighter jets in Syria has been against the rules. Therefore, it must be checked according to which international regulations the plane flew over Syria. The US warplane is not licensed, so this is a war violation and against international law.
“There is no law on the threat of a passenger plane unless it is proven that it is carrying out a terrorist act,” he said. No military plane is authorized to fly over civilian planes routes and if they do it would be a violation of international law.
Legal Channels to Pursue Attack against Passenger Plane
Khaji, referring to the injury, physical damage and psychological pressure and stress that were created to the passengers of this plane during this action of the American fighters, continued: This action of the United States is considered an aggression against Iran because the plane is a part of the country. Invasion of a country’s territory has an international responsibility and must be held accountable to each and every one of those individuals within the framework of legal and criminal liability that includes this action. It must compensate for all damages. Therefore, each of these passengers can file criminal and legal complaints in the courts, including in our own country, this lawsuit can be filed. They can even hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit in the United States.
Nations Need to Know How Brutally Americans Behave
The university professor stressed: “The filing of this lawsuit is very important and Iran should pursue the case. By doing so, in the political and social arena, the prestige of the American officials is really lost before the world public opinion because a military plane has threatened a passenger plane! Nations need to know how brutally Americans behave. This is an international crime, and it is a political and social blow to Americans. International public opinion certainly condemns it, and it will certainly be condemned in the court.
He added: “Iran should take this issue to the International Court of Justice, where we have repeatedly complained against the Americans. According to the statute of this court, we can file a lawsuit. We have to open another case against the Americans for violating the 1955 agreement, which is very formal.
Need for Follow-up at United Nations
Khaji said that Iran should raise this issue in the UN General Assembly as a threat in order to realize its rights. He added: “In addition to filing a complaint with ICAO, Iran can file a lawsuit through Syria. This US action is in principle condemned and the violator will be identified.