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Tehran-Baghdad flight arrives in Iraq after long delay

Baghdad, Nov 8, IRNA-An Iraqi passenger plane, which took off from Tehran Sunday evening, arrived in Baghdad Monday morning after an unusually long delay.

Flights between the two countries have been suspended for the past 25 years.

The Iraqi Airlines plane left Iranian airspace Sunday evening and landed Sunday night in Jordan's international airport in the capital, Amman, where it stayed all throughout the night before taking off for Baghdad Monday morning.

According to the information IRNA received from Iraq Airlines, the passenger plane, instead of proceeding directly to Baghdad, made a detour to Amman and stayed there all throughout Sunday night because it did not have permission to enter Iraqi airspace.

The Iraq Airline official explained: "Iraq's airspace is exclusively open to US aircraft only from 6 p.m. every day to 8 a.m. of the following day and, consequently, the Iraqi plane could not fly to its home state during those hours (that it was in Amman)." The US and its allies have remained in Iraq since they invaded the country in 2003.

Iraq has recently started to restore its civilian flights to regional countries after a long hiatus following the announcement of UN sanctions against the country after the occupation of Kuwait by Iraqi forces.

... Payvand News - 11/8/05 ... --

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