Iran criticizes Iraq's search of Syria-bound plane

Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran has criticized neighboring Iraq for forcing a Syria-bound Iranian cargo plane to land for inspection in Baghdad to ensure it was not carrying weapons.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Iraq should not be influenced by anti-Iranian Western countries, adding that the search of two Iranian planes over the past month had proved that no weapons were aboard Syria-bound Iranian flights.

Mehmanparast said the U.S. and its allies seek to divert global attention away from their own shipment of arms to Syrian rebels. He made the remarks during a press conference in Tehran Tuesday.

The Iraqi move appeared aimed at easing U.S. concerns that Iraq has become a route for shipments of Iranian military supplies that could help the regime of President Bashar Assad in its fight against rebels.

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