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Merkel Delay Due To 'Technical Fault'


German Chancellor Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Iran has said a "technical problem" was to blame for briefly closing its airspace to German Chancellor Angela Merkel's plane as she flew to India, thereby delaying her arrival and sparking a diplomatic row.

Iran's official IRAN news agency quoted foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast as saying that the problem , which occurred on May 31, "was caused only by a technical question that was immediately resolved."

Merkel, speaking at a news conference in New Delhi, declined to go into detail about the inconvenience, which saw her plane circle for two hours over Turkey before receiving permission to cross Iran's airspace.

But her foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, said the incident "shows a lack of respect towards Germany that we will not accept."

Germany is one of six world powers trying to convince Tehran to abandon controversial nuclear work

compiled from agency reports
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