Iran General NewsIran minister scraps trip after Hungary bars plane, Shargh...

Iran minister scraps trip after Hungary bars plane, Shargh says

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Bloomberg: Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi canceled a trip to the Netherlands this week after Hungary said it wouldn’t allow his plane to enter its airspace, Iran’s Shargh newspaper said, citing an official in Tehran.

Bloomberg

By Ladane Nasseri

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi canceled a trip to the Netherlands this week after Hungary said it wouldn’t allow his plane to enter its airspace, Iran’s Shargh newspaper said, citing an official in Tehran.

Hungary said the refusal to give clearance to the aircraft was due to technical problems, an explanation the unidentified Foreign Ministry official described as unconvincing, the Tehran- based paper reported. The ministry has sought an explanation from the Hungarian ambassador in Tehran, it said.

The Hungarian Foreign Ministry said the decision was based on European Union air-safety rules and unrelated to sanctions against Iran. “The aircraft which the Iranian foreign minister planned to use is on a banned list, according to a European Commission directive relating to flight safety,” the ministry in Budapest said in an e-mailed response to questions. “Accordingly, its entry into EU airspace can’t be permitted.” Also, Iran requested entry one day before the flight, instead of the 15 days needed, the ministry said.

Salehi was scheduled to attend an annual conference of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague held this week, the newspaper said. As a former head of Iran’s atomic energy agency, he had been banned from traveling to Europe by sanctions imposed in response to his country’s nuclear program, the newspaper said. The ban was removed after he was appointed foreign minister in January, it said.

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