Original Photo: Aliasghar Shadjoo, IRNA

Washington, DC–Another airplane crashes in Iran: Iran Air Boeing 727, which was headed to Oroumieh from Tehran on Sunday January 9th, 2011 and was close to landing, crashed (7:45 pm local time) and lost 77 passengers, while 33 have been reported injured.

So tragic.

Are you surprised?

We’re not.

Sadly, as far as the outdated planes that continue to break down–and/or crash in this case–without hope for repair (due to sanctions on American-made parts) being used to transport Iranian citizens (and more) are concerned, it’s not a matter of “if”, but rather a matter of “when” the  next crash will be announced.

A transportation chief, leaving no room for confusion with his choice of words, said the decayed plane situation was at a “crisis point”, back in 2002. So we can’t imagine that Iranian authorities are unaware of this horrible shortcoming which yet again, has left many families devastated from a preventable loss.

Some reports claim that inclement weather (snow) was the cause of the crash, and others report of sources who cited “technical difficulty” as the main cause of the unfortunate incident .

Well, if the weather was bad enough to cause a plane to crash, then why was the plane sent off to fly to begin with?

Perhaps it’s time for Iran to invest in a new set of planes and stop using the second-hand planes it purchased 37 years ago, if not for any other reason than to offer its people a safe mode of transportation.

Ironically, Iran Air’s tagline reads: “Our mission is your safety”

List of recent plane crashes in Iran:

  • In July 2009, a Caspian Airlines Tupolev bound for Armenia caught fire and crashed northeast of Tehran, killing all 168 on board.
  • In January 2008 an IranAir Fokker-100 experienced double engine failure on take-off in Tehran and burned on the tarmac.
  • In November 2006, a military plane crashed upon takeoff in Tehran, killing all 39 on board – 30 of them Revolution Guard soldiers.
  • In December 2005, a US-made Iranian military C-130 plane ferrying journalists to military exercises crashed into a 10-story apartment block, killing all 94 on board and as many as 34 others.
  • And in the worst incident in Iranian aviation history, a February 2003 crash into mountains of southeast Iran of an Ilyushin-76 troop carrier with Revolutionary Guard passengers left all 302 dead.

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