Charter plane with Americans aboard forced to land in Iran, then flies to Dubai

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(CNN) — A charter airplane carrying military contractors, including Americans, took off early Saturday from Iran, hours after its pilots were ordered to land because the flight plan was out of date, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman said.

The Fly Dubai charter landed in Dubai a short time later, spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

The news brought to an end an incident that began late Friday when the charter plane en route to the United Arab Emirates was told by Iran that it needed to return to Afghanistan, a number of U.S. officials said.

The pilots said they did not have enough fuel to return to Afghanistan, and the Iranians ordered it to land or be “intercepted,” the officials said. It landed in Bandar Abbas in southern Iran near the Persian Gulf, the officials said. There were 140 passengers, including 100 U.S. citizens, on board the flight, which originated at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, they said.

By late Friday, a senior U.S. State Department official told CNN, “the issue appears to have been resolved and, hopefully, the plane will be able to take off soon.”

Which it did.

CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz, Elise Labott and Barbara Starr contributed to this report.

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