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Military jet crashes in NW Iran, killing 13 ???

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 12:14 pm    Post subject: Military jet crashes in NW Iran, killing 13 ??? Reply with quote

IRI kills revolutionary guards again
Question; Did IRI eliminate potential adversaries or did they kill to conceal something by crating a crisis diversion??????


Military plane crashes in Iran

January 9, 2006
TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- A military plane has crashed in northern Iran, the semi-official FARS news agency reported, but there was no immediate word on casualties or the cause of the accident.
According to FARS, the Falcon jet was en route from Tehran to Uroumieh when it went down around 10:15 a.m. on Monday.
The military aircraft was believed to be carrying members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, including a number of commanders, and is the second such accident in the last five weeks.
An air force C-130 -- carrying more than 90 people -- crashed on December 6 after hitting a 10-story apartment building, killing at least 116 people.

Military jet crashes in NW Iran, killing 13

By Matt Spetalnick
TEHRAN (Reuters) - An Iranian military plane crashed in northwest Iran on Monday, killing 13 on board, including a senior Revolutionary Guard commander, police and news agencies reported.
"A Falcon jet belonging to the Revolutionary Guard has crashed near Orumiyeh," a police spokesman told state television. "There were 13 on board, unfortunately all were killed."
The Head of the ground forces of the Revolutionary Guard, Ahmad Kazemi, was among those killed, Ahmad Panahi, head of Iran's Emergency Centre was quoted as saying by the Fars news agency.
"Ahmad Kazemi was killed with 12 of his deputies and accompanying officers," he said.
Fars news agency put the total number of people on board the plane at 15, of whom 13 were definitely killed.
Mehr news agency said the crash was due to bad weather in snowbound northwest Iran.
It said several high ranking Revolutionary Guard commanders had been on board. A Revolutionary Guard spokesman was not immediately available to comment.

At Least 13 Dead In Iranian Plane Crash

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

9 January 2006 -- An Iranian military plane has crashed in the northwest of the country, killing at least 13 people, including a top military officer.

Iranian media reports the plane, identified as a Falcon, came down near Orumiyeh, near the Turkish border.

Reports said among the dead were Ahmad Kazemi, the commander of the ground forces of the Revolutionary Guards, and seven senior officers.

The crash came barely a month after an Iranian military transport plane crashed into a high-rise housing block after suffering engine failure. More than 100 people were killed in that incident.

Ground forces commander's martyrdom confirmed

Tehran, Jan 9, IRNA
The spokesman of the Islamic Revolution's Guard Corps here Monday confirmed that the Commander of Ground Forces of the Islamic Revolution's Guard Corps Ahmad Kazemi was among those killed in the crash Monday morning of a military plane in northwestern Iran.
Talking to IRNA, IRGC spokesman Massoud Jazayeri confirmed that the commander of the 27th Rassoulollah Army Division was martyred in the crash.
He added that the IRGC has launched a probe on the crash and will soon issue an official announcement.

13 dead in Iran military plane crash

LONDON, January 9 (IranMania) - An Iranian military plane crashed in the northwest of the country on Monday, killing all 13 people aboard including a top military officer, Iranian media reported.
The plane, a Falcon, came down near Orumiyeh, near the Turkish border and all 13 people aboard were killed, Al-Alam television reported.
Among the dead were Ahmad Kazemi, the commander of the ground forces of the Revolutionary Guards and seven senior officers, the Fars news agency said.
The crash came barely a month after a decrepit Iranian military transport plane crashed into the foot of a high-rise housing block after suffering engine failure, according to AFP.
A total of 108 people were killed in the December 6 incident.
Several top Iranian military officers were among at least 11 people killed in a plane crash on Monday, the local
media reported, the second such crash in barely a month.
The military plane came down near Orumiyeh in northwestern Iran near the Turkish border and all 11 people aboard were killed, the Mehr agency reported.
Emergency services chief Farzad Panahi told the Fars agency the plane was carrying 15 people, including eight Revolutionary Guard commanders.
Thirteen were killed and two missing, he said.
The crash of the Falcon came barely a month after a decrepit Iranian military transport plane plunged into the foot of a high-rise housing block in Tehran after suffering engine failure.
A total of 108 people were killed in the December 6 incident, which raised concerns across the country about the state of the planes used by the military.
Among the dead in Monday's crash were Ahmad Kazemi, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards ground forces, Fars said, and a number of other top commanders, including an intelligence chief.
The Fars agency has close links to the Revolutionary Guards, which are known locally as Pasdarans.
A Guards spokesman quoted by Al-Alam television said the plane came down around 8:30 am (0500 GMT), with Mehr reporting the plane crashed after one of its engines stopped working.
The area around Orumiyeh, in West Azerbaijan province, is mountainous and weather conditions there notoriously bad during the winter months.
The Revolutionary Guards were set up in the wake of the 1979 revolution to defend the Islamic republic from "internal and external threats". It is now one of Iran's most powerful institutions and counts an estimated 350,000 men.
Iranian media said the Hercules plane involved in December's crash, bought from the United States before the Islamic revolution nearly three decades ago and starved of spare parts, had been ordered to fly despite warnings from its pilot.
Defence Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najar is facing an impeachment process over that accident.
Since the revolution, clerical-ruled Iran has been subject to tough US sanctions, hindering the purchase of critical spare parts for all US-made planes in its air force, civilian flag carrier Iran Air and domestic airlines.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 12:33 pm    Post subject: Iran’s top military commanders die in plane crash Reply with quote

Iran’s top military commanders die in plane crash

Mon. 9 Jan 2006

Iran Focus
Source: http://www.iranfocus.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=5205

Tehran, Iran, Jan. 09 – A dozen senior commanders of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) died in a plane crash in northwest Iran on Monday, a government spokesman announced.

A Falcon jet belonging to the IRGC crashed 13 kilometres southeast of Lake Orumieh, killing all 15 passengers on board. They included seven members of the General Command of the IRGC Ground Forces.

The commanders who died in the crash included Brigadier General Ahmad Kazemi, commander of the IRGC Ground Forces and a rising star in Iran’s radical Islamist military, Brigadier General Saeed Mohtadi, commander of the IRGC’s 27 Mohammad Division, Brigadier General Hanif, Director of Intelligence of the IRGC Ground Forces, Brigadier General Soleimani, Director of Operations of the IRGC Ground Forces, and Brigadier General Yazdani, Commander of the IRGC Artillery.

The Revolutionary Guards Corps was founded in the early days of the Islamic revolution in 1979 as an armed force loyal to Iran’s clerical rulers. Its commanders directly report to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and their mission is to “protect and propagate the Islamic revolution”.

Prior to his recent appointment as commander of the IRGC Ground Forces, Kazemi commanded the IRGC Air Force and Missile Forces. He was promoted in the recent reshuffle of the IRGC general command that was ordered by the Supreme Leader and was regarded as a loyal Khamenei supporter.

In a statement released in Tehran, the General Command of the Armed Forces said the IRGC plane crashed at 9:30 am local time near Orumieh Airport. It identified the cause of the crash as the failure of both engines. Earlier reports cited fuel shortage and bad weather as the cause of the crash.

Iran’s hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad praised Ahmad Kazemi and other IRGC commanders who were killed in the incident. He said the armed forces “must become symbols of resilience and honour by awaiting the return of the Mahdi [the Shiite messiah] and obeying the Supreme Leader”.

The top IRGC commanders were on a mission to visit IRGC forces in north-western Iran near the Turkish and Iraqi borders.

The blow to the IRGC comes at a critical time when the force has been given huge powers by the Supreme Leader in the wake of the consolidation of power by the ultra-conservative faction after the election of Ahmadinejad, who is himself a former commander of the IRGC. Hundreds of Revolutionary Guards commanders have been given senior government positions. At least 13 ministers in Ahmadinejad’s cabinet hail from the Revolutionary Guards.

As part of sweeping changes in the IRGC, Khamenei recently appointed a radical Shiite cleric, Ali Saeedi, as his personal representative to the IRGC. Saeedi, who will act as the chief ideological commissar of the Revolutionary Guards, has already reactivated the dormant Political Bureau of the IRGC and has told the Guards’ commanders that the Supreme Leader wants the force to play a much more prominent role in the political arena.

A day ahead of the crash, sources close to the IRGC said in Tehran that further reshuffles in the Guards’ top command were afoot. They mentioned plans to promote Brigadier General Mohammad Hejazi as the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the IRGC.

Security forces in Orumieh have sealed off the site of the crash and many military commanders have arrived at the scene, according to eye-witnesses.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:55 pm    Post subject: Iran's VIP Plane Crash: Sabotage or Accident? Reply with quote

Iran's VIP Plane Crash: Sabotage or Accident?

January 09, 2006



An Iranian military plane crashed near the northwestern city of Orumiyeh on Jan. 9. Eleven people, including the head of the ground forces of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Brig. Gen. Ahmad Kazemi, and several top commanders were killed in the crash. Though Iranian officials are citing bad weather and engine failure as cause for the crash, the incident is peculiar given that Kazemi was the second high-ranking Iranian military official killed in the last 26 days. Regardless of whether foul play actually caused the crash, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's support base has been struck hard.


The ground-forces commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Brig. Gen. Ahmad Kazemi was among 11 commanders killed Jan. 9 in a plane crash near the city of Orumiyeh, close to the Turkish border. The French-made Falcon jet crashed about 560 miles northwest of Tehran. According to Iranian officials, the aircraft lost power to at least one engine, and was attempting to make an emergency landing on a road in bad weather when it crashed. "Calm conditions" with light snow and 26.6 degrees Fahrenheit were reported.

A number of high-ranking IRGC officials died with Kazemi, including the commander of Rassoulollah Army Division 27, Saeed Mohtadi; Deputy Commander of Ground Forces for Operation Affairs Saeed Soleymani; the Official in Charge of Information for Ground Forces, Hanif Montazer-Qaem; artillery unit commander Gholam-Reza Yazdani; Hamid Azinpour and Mohsen Assadi, both members of the ground forces' command office: Deputy Commander of Ground Forces Safdar Reshadi; and Ahmad Elhaminejad and Morteza Basiri, both IRGC colonels.

A spokesman for the IRGC, Massoud Jazayeri, said bad weather and dilapidated engines caused the crash. It is entirely possible that the plane crashed due to technical difficulties, as Iranian officials have publicly claimed. Just a month ago, an Iranian military C-130 transport plane carrying 47 journalists crashed into a 10-story apartment building in Tehran, killing at least 110 people. Iran suffered its deadliest military plane crash in 2003 when a Russian-made military transport Il-76 operated by the IRGC crashed near Iran's border with Pakistan, killing all 302 IRGC members aboard. Before that, the crash of a Ukrainian-made An-140 on Dec. 23, 2003, left 46 scientists dead, a Russian-made Tupolev Tu-154 airliner crashed in February 2002, and a Russian-made Yak-40 crashed in bad weather in May 2001, killing 30 people including Iran's transportation minister.

Iran once possessed one of the most capable air forces in the Middle East. Under the shah, the Imperial Iranian Air Force boasted the most advanced U.S.-made aircraft available, and its personnel received extensive training by U.S. Air Force instructors. After the 1979 Islamic revolution, the United States halted support to Iran's air force and embargoed deliveries of military equipment and spare parts. Shortly after that, Iran's 8-year war with Iraq further strained the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF). The embargo has made the IRIAF's operation difficult, although the Iranians have displayed ingenuity in maintaining their aging equipment with indigenous means. Serviceability, however, remains a problem.

The Falcon 20E that crashed Jan. 9 formed part of the IRIAF VIP flight, based at Mehrabad air base near Tehran. Because it is used to transport high-ranking officials, it would be one of the better-maintained aircraft in the inventory. The aircraft's manufacturer, French-based Dassault Aviation, maintains an authorized service center in Iran. France's continued provision of aircraft and support to Iran comes despite U.S. pressure.

Though maintenance negligence offers a plausible explanation for the crash, the death of several of Iran's senior IRGC commanders comes at a particularly interesting juncture in Iran's political history. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's election was not fully endorsed by the entire Iranian political spectrum. His firebrand antics, though coming in pursuit of a strategy to raise the Islamic republic's profile in the Muslim world, have stirred up noticeable hints of dissent within the ruling regime. One of Ahmadinejad's top security guards in the Ansar al-Mahdi Corps, a unit of the IRGC responsible for the personal security of senior Iranian officials, died Dec. 14 in an ambush on the presidential motorcade in Iran's lawless Sistan and Balochistan province.

Considering that the Falcon was carrying one of Iran's most elite IRGC commanders, and would thus undergo thorough tests for technical issues before flight, the crash could also indicate foul play aimed at undermining Ahmadinejad's power base and influence.

Ahmadinejad served as a senior officer in the special brigade of the IRGC, and derives his key support from the IRGC. Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is actively seeking to expand the IRGC's control over Iran's civilian institutions, recently approving the appointment of IRGC deputy commandant, Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, for a senior Interior Ministry post responsible for internal security. At Safavi's inauguration in December, the supreme commander of the IRGC expressed the organization's "solid support" for Ahmadinejad and his government. Kazemi, who was killed in the Jan. 9 crash, replaced Brig. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari as the commander of the IRGC's ground forces shortly after Iran's June 2005 presidential election, and was charged by Iran's supreme leader to "improve the operating stamina" of the IRGC troops. Gen. Alireza Zahedi took Kazemi's position as commander of the IRGC air forces in the reassignment. Ahmadinejad and the supreme leader evidently trusted Kazemi highly, given this promotion.

A serious effort to erode Ahmadinejad's core power base would first target the presidential loyalists vital to Iran's national security interests. If this crash in fact reflects such an effort, Iran's security and intelligence apparatus has been penetrated, and the Iranian regime faces serious problems ahead as it proceeds with a bold agenda to secure its nuclear "rights," expand its orbit of influence in Iraq and reassert itself as the Islamic world's vanguard. Spouting off revolutionary rhetoric while engaging in back-channel talks with the United States could very well represent Iran's method of offsetting the Sunni world's concerns, given Iran's growing influence in the region.

If dissenting elements within the Iranian establishment have arranged for individuals critical to the country's national security to be removed, thus weakening Ahmadinejad's position, then a serious rift clearly is brewing within the regime. The Iranian regime would take great care to cover up any hints of such foul play. And while competing explanations of engine malfunctions versus conspirators aiming to bring down the president hang in the air, the fact remains that Ahmadinejad's power base has been severely threatened.
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