US jet fighters violate Iran’s airspace: military

US warplanes have violated Iranian airspace in the southwestern oil-rich province of Khuzestan, Al-Alam Arabic language news satellite channel quoted a local military chief as saying on Sunday.

“Two US aircraft trespassed into Iranian airspace northwest of (the southwestern port city of) Abadan before flying southwest into Iraq,” a local Revolutionary Guards commander in Abadan identified only as Colonel Aqili was quoted as saying on the channel’s website.

“The planes left white vapour trails, attracting the local people’s attention,” he said, without elaborating on when the alleged incursion took place.

The incident happened close to Iran’s border with Iraq, where the US and British military are deployed in force.

The US is in a mounting diplomatic confrontation with Iran over its uranium enrichment and Western suspicions that Tehran is bent on developing nuclear weapons, a charge vehemently denied by Iran.

Washington says it wants a diplomatic solution to the nuclear standoff, but it has never ruled out a military option.

Tensions have spiked since Iran’s seizure on March 23 of 15 British marines and sailors for allegedly entering Iranian waters.

Iran says the Britons illegally entered its territorial waters while London insists they were in Iraqi waters on a anti-smuggling patrol under UN mandate.