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Iran blocks Merkel's flight en route to India

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B Mathur/Reuters

(Read caption) German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks with India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a photo opportunity ahead of their meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, on May 31. Iran temporarily withdrew flyover rights on Tuesday for a plane carrying Merkel to India, forcing it to circle over Turkey for almost two hours before restoring the rights.

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"Coordination problems" delayed German Chancellor Angela Merkel's arrival in India for a trade visit when Iran refused her plane entry into Iranian airspace for two hours while it was en route to India (see route).

The plane was forced to wait over Turkey until it eventually received permission to pass through Iran, which has not given a reason for the refusal.

The Iranian ambassador to Germany was summoned to the German foreign ministry to explain his country's "disrespect towards Germany which we cannot accept," said German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, German newspaper Der Spiegel reports.

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