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Armed forces close down Iran's new airport on 'security' grounds

Tehran, May 8, IRNA -- Iran's armed forces closed down Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA), citing security concerns, just after it was officially inaugurated with the landing of a foreign aircraft on Saturday.

photo: ISNA

In a statement, a copy of which was faxed to IRNA, the armed forces stated that it had permitted the only flight from Dubai to land at the airport, but closed it to more foreign aircraft.

photo: ISNA

"The airport will remain closed until security requirements are met," the forces said, adding 'foreign flights will be conducted from Mehrabad International Airport as before'.

photo: ISNA

National flag carrier Iran Air had commissioned the operation of the airport to a Turkish-Austrian consortium, but the armed forces said this was jeopardizing the country's 'security' as well as 'dignity'.

photo: ISNA

"Regretfully, officials of the airport have taken this inappropriate decision without heeding security requirements as well as the law of the Supreme National Security Council on not using foreign forces," they said in a part of the statement.

photo: ISNA

The armed forces highlighted 'the very invaluable achievements attained over the past two decades through the sacrifices of the security elements' against 'hijack and terrorist' attempts.

"Security is regarded as an indispensable and vital issue ... especially when it is linked to the country's dignity and security.

"If damaged, this will dent the dignity of the establishment, besides inflicting irreparable physical, financial and economic damage," they added.

... Payvand News - 5/8/04 ... --

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