‘Firing one bullet against Iran will damage American interests’, says Iranian general

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TEHRAN – June 22, 2019 An Iranian general warned on Saturday that any action against Tehran would have serious consequences for US interests in the region, the Tasnim news agency reported.

“Firing one bullet against Iran will set fire to American interests and their allies” in the Middle East, Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi, a spokeswoman for the Iranian Armed Forces Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Tasnim .

Iranian airspace is ‘totally safe and secure’

The Iranian Civil Aviation Organization said the country’s airspace is “fully safe and secure” and open to flights from all airlines, the agency said.

“Iran-controlled airspace over the Persian Gulf and other flight routes are completely safe,” said the Guard’s spokesman Reza Jafarzadeh.

The comments followed confirmation from at least half a dozen airlines that they will restrict flights over the airspace in the Strait of Hormuz and around it and the Gulf of Oman due to escalating tensions between the US and Iran.

Tensions worsening

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On June 20, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) claimed to have overthrown a US Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk drone that would have invaded Iranian airspace in Hormozgan province near the Strait of Hormuz.

The United States Department of Defense, for its part, insists that the unmanned aerial vehicle was not in Iranian territory, but in international waters, when it was overthrown.

Meanwhile, the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an emergency order on Thursday (20) prohibiting US airlines from flying over Tehran’s airspace in the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman due to heightened tensions with the US.

In a separate statement for US airlines, the FAA reported that the nearest civilian aircraft was flying about 45 nautical miles from a Global Hawk drone at the time it was shot down by an Iranian land-to-air missile at Thursday, Reuters news agency reported.

Earlier, United Airlines canceled all flights between Newark Airport in Newark and Mumbai’s financial capital after a security review. The review came in response to Iran’s measure of overthrowing a US surveillance drone.

Last month, the US Aviation Agency advised all US airlines to exercise caution when flying over Iran and nearby areas due to increased military activity and political tension in the region.

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