July 27, 2021
All civilian airports in and around Iran’s capital Tehran will close during the inauguration of President-elect Ebrahim Raisi (Raeesi) on August 5, Tasnim news agency, which is close to the Revolutionary Guards, reported Tuesday. The move is unprecedented for presidential inaugurations, although on a few occasions airports have been shut down during armed forces day, when military planes have had air shows.
The report cited “security and safety requirements” for closing four airports between 16:30-19:00 local time, but the announcement also mentioned the airport in Qazvin, almost 200 kilometers north-west of the capital. It asked all airlines to modify flight schedules.
Since mid-2020, sensitive nuclear, military and industrial targets in Iran have sustained a series of attacks attributed to Israel, including the April 11 attack on the Natanz enrichment site. Some of these attacks may have involved the use of drones.
Iranian authorities have been criticized for not closing airspace on January 8, 2020 after firing ballistic missiles at United States bases in Iraq in response to the US killing Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and nine others with a drone strike in Baghdad. This resulted within hours in the downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane taking off from Tehran, due, Iran said, to the misalignment of a mobile missile battery.