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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Iranians Halt Russian Aid Flight To Iraq, Await UN Instructions

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran said Tuesday a shipment of Russian aid for Iraq had arrived in the country and would be forwarded to Baghdad by land after UN approval.

The announcement, carried by Tehran radio, appeared to confirm reports that Iran had prevented a Russian aircraft carrying food and medical aid to Iraq in defiance of UN sanctions from continuing its flight to Baghdad.

"The Foreign Ministry announced that a shipment of humanitarian aid from Russia has arrived in Kermanshah [the center of a province bordering Iraq] and local authorities are planning to forward this aid by land transport," the radio said.

"The Foreign Ministry has informed the United Nations' representative office in Tehran about this matter and is awaiting an answer," it said, adding that Iran respected all UN decisions on Iraq.

Iraqi officials said Monday the plane had landed in Iran after Iranian authorities prevented it from continuing its flight to Iraq.

In Moscow, an ultranationalist party's spokesman said there were plans to try to fly humanitarian aid directly from Moscow to Iraq later this week after Iran hampered a similar attempt Monday.

Spokesman Alexei Batogov said the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, or LDPR, chartered a plane from Baku, Azerbaijan, to carry humanitarian food and medicine to Iraq.

The spokesman said the party had not obtained UN permission to make the flight. Strict UN sanctions, imposed after Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, have grounded the Iraqi national carrier and halted all trade with Baghdad but for essential goods.

Batogov said a number of LDPR members were accompanying the food and medicine donated by the party, but said the flamboyant LDPR head Vladimir Zhirinovsky was not on board.