A jet carrying about 100 American military contractors were asked by Iranian air force fighter jets to land in Southern Iran on Friday.
The U.S. charter aircraft with 100 U.S. military contractors and possibly two Canadians was leaving Afghanistan when it was intercepted and requested to land in the southern Iranian city of Bandar Abbas.
“The plane, which departed Bagram air base on Friday, was chartered by the Pentagon from Fly Dubai, an airliner based in the United Arab Emirates,” The Washington Post reported.
U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the cause of the incident was related to the plane’s flight plan and expressed confidence the situation would to be resolved quickly.
The forcible interception of a military plane does not sound like an easily resolved situation, but officials are telling reporters that the incident is relatively harmless.
Iran forces US military charter down but US official downplays incident, saying it’s “bureaucratic” not “political” & will be resolved soon
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) September 5, 2014
CNN reported on Friday that Iranian air forces said that the plane was abiding by an out of date flight plan and they should change course. When the charter plane replied that they did not have enough fuel to abide by this request, they was escorted by Iranian fighter jets to an airstrip in Iran.
This situation is likely to be resolved soon. But with crises proliferating around the globe, and the memories of an American hostage crisis in Iran fresh for many, no one is taking any chances.