Iranian officials are blaming pilot error for yesterday’s extraordinary incident, in which a plane carrying German Chancellor Angela Merkel was barred from Iranian airspace for two hours.
Mehr News Agency cites National Security Commission spokesman Kazem Jalali, who said Merkel’s flight to India was delayed because “the pilot announced a wrong code.”
Jalali added: “There was a change in the time of the flight, and the pilot communicated the wrong code, which in turn caused some delays.”
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said yesterday that the flight was delayed due to “technical difficulties.”
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle summoned the Iranian ambassador to demand an explanation of the incident, calling it “in contradiction to all international regulations and routines" which would entail “diplomatic consequences” for Iran.