Iran says Merkel plane blocked due to technical glitch

Iranian Foreign Ministry says Merkel plane was not barred from air space, permission was granted to new German Airbus 340 flight.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS
May 31, 2011 19:14
1 minute read.
Angela Merkel

Merkel reuters 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The Iranian Foreign Ministry said that permission for the new Airbus 340 flight carrying German Chancellor Angela Merkel and a group of "journalists and businessmen" was in fact granted on Tuesday, and that the flight was barred from Iranian airspace due to a "technical glitch," Iranian news channel Press TV said Tuesday. Germany had said that the delays was caused by "coordination problems."

“The problem regarding the delay of the flight in question for crossing the Islamic Republic of Iran's airspace was caused by a technical glitch that was immediately solved
..." Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said.

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The flight was reportedly showcasing the new Airbus 340, named after the first post-World War II German chancellor Konrad Adenauer, Press TV said.

The flight had been denied a permit to cross over Iran, forcing it to circle over Turkey for two hours before the rights were restored and she could land in New Delhi.

"An unusual start to the India trip," Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert wrote on his Twitter account. "Iran temporarily denied flyover rights for the Chancellor's plane. A late landing in Delhi."

A Reuters journalist traveling with Merkel reported that Iran had withdrawn the previously granted rights shortly before the plan reached Iranian territory.

A second German government plane that left Berlin earlier reached India without any problems.


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