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1.09.2006
  Leader Of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Killed
A military passenger jet crashed Monday in northwestern Iran, killing at least 13 people, including the commander of the ground forces of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, state media said. It was the second time in two months that a military plane was brought down in Iran blamed on mechnical failure.

Gen. Ahmad Kazemi, commander of the ground forces of the Revolutionary Guards, was appointed commander of the Guards' ground forces in August, part of a power struggle after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took office.

Gen. Masoud Jazayeri, spokesman for the Revolutionary Guards, told state radio that various factors were to blame: both of the plane's engines had failed; its landing gear had jammed, preventing the wheels from fully deploying; and there was snow and poor visibility at the time, etc. In addition, state television said two crew members were killed however, the news agency and state radio said the plane had a crew of three. This and other discrepancy could not be immediately explained.

State television said the plane was a Falcon jet, owned by the Guards, was made by the French company Dassault.

The government has blamed the U.S. trade embargo, which makes it impossible for Iran to buy parts for its old aircraft, but critics have maintained the planes are poorly maintained with an ill-educated support staff. How this applies to a French jet I don't know but anyway:

Iran has a history of blaming heavy loss of life on aircraft accidents.

On Dec. 6, a military transport plane crashed into a 10-story apartment building near Tehran's Mehrabad airport, killing 115 people. The plane, a U.S.-made C-130, was said to have suffered engine trouble, while the pilot was returning to the airport, he flew the aircraft into the side of the building. Conspicuously, most of the passengers were Iranian journalists.

Just another 'accident' quitely removing the speed-bumps to
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's unlimited power.
 
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