Iran official blames paperwork, expenses for diversion of plane from Afghanistan airfield

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An Iranian official says a charter flight bound for Dubai from Afghanistan was forced to land in Iran in order to pay expenses and complete paperwork in the first comment from the Islamic Republic over the incident.

Mansour Haghighatpour, a member of the parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy, also was quoted Saturday by the semi-official Fars news agency saying: "Americans should know that Iran strongly defends its territory in land, sea and air. They should observe international measures in this regards. Otherwise they will face such an attitude."

The flight was chartered from Dubai-based low-cost carrier flydubai. The airline confirmed it landed safely in Dubai early Saturday.

The plane was flying Friday from Bagram airfield north of Kabul to Dubai. The flight path goes through Iranian airspace.