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Pilot of German Chancellor Blamed for Flight Delay

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TEHRAN, June 1 (ICANA) – The Iranian Embassy in Berlin blamed the pilot of German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the delayed passage of Merkel's plane through Iran to India.
Wednesday, June 01, 2011 11:52:07 AM
Pilot of German Chancellor Blamed for Flight Delay

In a press statement quoted by the Islamic republic news agency, Iran's diplomatic mission said that Merkel's pilot did not send the proper call sign and thus was not able to cross Iranian airspace.

The embassy pointed out that two other German planes did manage to cross Iran's skies by giving the right call sign only hours before Merkel's aircraft was delayed because of the wrong call signs.

It added that Iran's Ambassador to Germany Ali Reza Sheikh Attar was contacted by the political director of the German foreign ministry, Emily Haber at 2:30 am (local time) on Tuesday and was told that Merkel's plane was refused entry into airspace.

The embassy stressed that within 20 minutes the problem was resolved and Merkel's aircraft was allowed to proceed into Iranian airspace.

Iran's diplomatic mission slammed efforts by certain media outlets to turn a simple technical issue into a political case.

It also pointed out that a former Iranian foreign minister had in the past faced a similar situation in Germany.

In a meeting with Germany's deputy foreign minister earlier in the day, Sheikh Attar informed him of the exact circumstances of the issue.

Sheikh Attar lamented the unconstructive behavior of the German side.

The statement hailed Merkel's approach on the case by avoiding turning a technical issue into a complicated matter.

The Iranian Embassy expressed its readiness to review a likely German request for further clarifications on the case.

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