A senior Iranian official says the Islamic Republic has no intention of retaliating in kind for the harassment of an Iranian airliner by two US warplanes in Syrian airspace.
Mohsen Baharvand said on Saturday the US act was an unlawful move, and retaliation in kind is not necessarily the response to such an act.
“Two bad moves will not necessarily lead to a good result,” said Baharvand, the deputy Iranian foreign minister for legal and international affairs, in an interview with Etemad newspaper.
“If the US military has committed such an act against a civilian airplane, the Iranian Armed Forces will not endanger the lives of innocent individuals simply because of Washington’s unlawful act,” he said.
“While being brave and sturdy, our armed forces abide by professional, ethical and human principles, and this is the difference between us and powers which try to settle all their issues through bullying,” he noted.
“Their main support base is material power devoid of morality,” said the top official.
He said the harassment of a passenger plane is an unlawful act and runs counter to international regulations.
“No one has the right to jeopardize the safety of airplanes of a country intentionally,” he said, adding, “The United States’ militarism has put international peace and security in danger.”
“It is no honour for a modern jet fighter to harass and imperil the safety of a defenceless civilian plane carrying defenceless men, women and children as passengers,” he said.
Elsewhere in his remarks, he touched upon the illegal presence of the US military in Syria.
“This incident happened in the skies over Syria, which, itself, is one of the victims of the US militarism,” he said.
“Basically, the presence of American aircraft in that area is an illegal act and seen as a violation of the UN Charter,” he said.