This is one of those stories that you know happens in various places around the world but we normally do not hear about it. I know that there were some US diplomats some years ago that were on a flight that made a diversion and landed in a country they weren’t supposed to go to and you know there are many other stories as well. This one is about an Israeli solder in Iran on a diversion.
Israeli Soldier On Flight that Diverted to Iran
This happened last Thursday on FlyDubai flight 1942 from Tashkent, Uzbekistan to Dubai. As sometimes happens, there was a medical emergency and it caused the plane to have to divert to Shiraz, Iran.
This meant that the Israeli solder, a 19 year old female, was in Shiraz, Iran for 9 hours during this diversion. Given the sensitive nature of such a situation and the potential for it to turn very serious for the soldier and Israel, the Israeli Prime Minister was informed and Mossad reportedly called the soldier to give her instructions.
הותר לפרסום: חיילת צה”ל נחתה באיראן
חיילת צה”ל, שיצאה לחופשה לבקר את משפחתה באוזבקיסטן, נחתה בשבוע שעבר נחיתת חירום על אדמת איראן. המידע, שעד כה נשמר בסודיות, הגיע במהירות ללשכת הרמטכ”ל כוכבי, ראש הממשלה לפיד ושר הביטחון גנץ pic.twitter.com/eg4viLRG1U
— איתי בלומנטל Itay Blumental (@ItayBlumental) November 2, 2022
I am sure that had to be a terrifying 9 hours for this young soldier. When I went to Iran, I also flew into Shiraz as my point of entry to Iran. As an American on an American passport with an Iranian visa (and as someone who had previously been to Israel over 15 times), I had permission to be there yet was still nervous when I was first confronted by police. And, yes, it was “confronted” not greeted. 🙂 A police officer was going down the line of passengers waiting for passport control and greeting people in a friendly fashion until he saw my American passport. At that point, he shouted “Amrikori!” and everyone in that part of the airport turned to look at me. I was sent to wait in another area for about an hour or so until everyone had left and then I was processed.
So, as someone who had gone through the visa interview process, received the visa, and traveled to this same airport, I can say that the passport experience was something I had imagined may happen but still felt unnerving. I cannot imagine what it felt like for a young Israeli soldier who was there – without obviously planning to be there!
The Israeli security felt it was ok to now release this story so that is why it is now out in public. I wonder how Iran feels now learning that they had an Israeli soldier in their airport who was apparently in contact with the Mossad during that time?
An Israeli soldier flying from Uzbekistan to UAE has landed in Iran last week, as flight diverted due emergency. This happened as top brass was in cabinet meeting approving Lebanon border deal. After two hours on ground, plane deprated and she made it safely to UAE pic.twitter.com/MAUqXvSWDe
— avi scharf (@avischarf) November 2, 2022
While it is not legal to detain passengers during such a situation, we all know that some countries do not follow that (look at Belarus).
Many countries do caution their citizens about taking flights that may fly over certain countries due to laws that may affect them. It is always a good idea to consider the flight path for such flights if there is something that could be of issue with one of those countries you fly over.
HT: Dans Deals
Featured image is the Shiraz Airport mosque