Commercial airliners flying over the Persian Gulf region risk of being ‘misidentified’ amid heightened tensions with Iran, US officials have warned.
A notice from the Federal Aviation Administration states that aircraft flying over the waters around the Arabian Peninsula should be aware of ‘heightened military activities and increased political tension’.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have been on the rise after Iran suspended its commitments under the international nuclear deal to resume production of enriched uranium.
The United States has also deployed a carrier group and B-52 bombers over an unspecified Iranian ‘threat’.
Aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln transits the Suez Canal in Egypt after being deployed to the Persian Gulf on orders from the White House to respond to an unspecified threat from Iran
The USS Abraham Lincoln was spotted in the Suez Canal in Egypt making its way to the Strait of Hormuz, while diplomats ordered nonessential diplomatic staff out of Iraq.
Today though Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismissed the prospect of war with the US.
‘There will be no war because neither we want a war, nor has anyone the idea or illusion that it can confront Iran in the region,’ he said to Iran’s official IRNA news agency.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismissed the prospect of war with the US, saying ‘there will be no war because neither we want a war, nor has anyone the idea or illusion that it can confront Iran in the region’
Asked this week if the US was going to war with Iran, President Trump said: ‘I hope not.’
The flight warning was relayed earlier today by US diplomats in Kuwait and the UAE.
The notice went on to say the tension present ‘an increasing inadvertent risk to U.S. civil aviation operations due to the potential for miscalculation or misidentification,’ the warning said.
It also said aircraft could experience interference with its navigation instruments and communications jamming ‘with little to no warning.’
The USS Abraham Lincoln was spotted in the Suez Canal in Egypt making its way to the Strait of Hormuz, while diplomats ordered nonessential diplomatic staff out of Iraq
The Persian Gulf has become a major gateway for East-West travel in the aviation industry.
Dubai International Airport in the UAE is now the world’s busiest for international travel, with long-haul carriers Etihad and Qatar Airways also operate in the region.
Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways all said they were aware of the notice but it had not affect their operations.
It came as Lloyd’s of London warned of increasing risks to maritime shipping in the region.
Iran-US relations hit a new low last year when Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear agreement signed by the Obama Administration, before reimposing unilateral sanctions that had been lifted in exchange for Tehran scaling back its nuclear programme.