Saudi Arabian Airlines has rerouted its international flights away from the Gulf of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz to avoid Iranian administrated airspace.
According to Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television on Sunday, the decision was taken to ensure flight safety, which came after downing of an American drone by Iranian forces this week.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Thursday banned operators from flying over parts of Iran-controlled airspace. Other major airlines such as Lufthansa, KLM and Qantas have also followed the suit.
On June 13, two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman and the U.S. put blame on Iran and offered a video evidence.
Iran has repeatedly denied these accusations and said that the supposed footage given by U.S. intelligence is false.
Senior politicians such as the German foreign minister Heiko Maas and the leader of the U.K.’s main opposition party Jeremy Corbyn have questioned the credibility of the footage released by the U.S. Central Command and arguing that the video does not provide enough evidence.
Tensions have been rising between the U.S. and Iran since May 2018 when Washington unilaterally withdrew from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany and the EU.
The U.S. has since embarked upon a diplomatic and economic campaign to ramp up pressure on Iran to force it to renegotiate the agreement.
By Gulsen Topcu