AFP: US warplanes have violated Iranian airspace in the southwestern oil province of Khuzestan, the Arabic language channel of Iranian state television quoted a local military chief as saying on Sunday. TEHRAN, April 1, 2007 (AFP) – US warplanes have violated Iranian airspace in the southwestern oil province of Khuzestan, the Arabic language channel of Iranian state television quoted a local military chief as saying on Sunday.
However, a US military spokesman said he had checked into reports of an airspace violation and denied that any took place.
“Two US aircraft trespassed into Iranian airspace northwest of (the port city of) Abadan before flying southwest into Iraq,” a Revolutionary Guards commander in Abadan identified only as Colonel Aqili was quoted as saying by the Al-Alam channel’s website.
“The planes left white vapour trails, attracting the local people’s attention,” he said, without elaborating on when the alleged incursion took place.
The incident happened close to Iran’s border with Iraq, where the US and British military are deployed in force, he said.
A US military spokesman told AFP that he had investigated the Iranian military’s claim and found no evidence to support it.
“There is nothing that we saw that would indicate that that happened,” he told AFP.
The United States is in a mounting diplomatic confrontation with Iran over its efforts to master the nuclear fuel cycle and Western suspicions that Tehran is bent on developing nuclear weapons, a charge vehemently denied by Iran.
Washington says it wants a diplomatic solution to the nuclear standoff but has never ruled out military action.
Tensions have spiked since Iran’s seizure on March 23 of 15 British marines and sailors for allegedly entering Iranian waters.
Iran says the Britons entered its waters illegally while London insists they were in Iraqi waters on an anti-smuggling patrol under UN mandate.