Iran's deputy foreign minister has officially apologized for intercepting a Kyrgyz passenger plane in Iranian airspace, Kyrgyzstan's foreign ministry said on Monday.
On February 23, Iranian air force fighter jets forced a Kyrgyz air carrier "Kyrgyzstan" plane on a flight from the United Arab Emirates to Bishkek to land in the Iranian city of Bandar Abbas.
The plane was only released after two of its passengers were reportedly detained by Iranian special services.
Iranian media reported that one of the detainees was Abdolmalek Rigi, the leader of Iranian Sunni insurgent group Jundallah, who was scheduled to meet U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, at Kyrgyzstan's Manas Air Base.
Rigi told a conference aired by Iran's English-language channel Press TV that he was to discuss details of support that the U.S. was reportedly planning to provide for his group, which has carried out a series of terrorist attacks in southeast Iran. The group says Sunni tribes face persecution by Iran's Shiite leadership.
Jundallah has since chosen a new leader, the group said in statement.
BISHKEK, March 1 (RIA Novosti)