Monday, August 14, 2006

An Iranian plane was forced to land in Turkey. Original source.
An Iranian plane was forced to land in Turkey. The plane's destination was Lebanon loaded with revolutionary guards. However, further details of the investigation have not yet been released by the Turkish government. Recently a similar plane loaded with mid-range missiles was forced to return to Iran.

The Russian-made Ilioshin plane is one of the planes that Saddam Hussein sent to Iran during the first Gulf War for safekeeping, when Saddam invaded Kuwait. But Iran never returned them to Iraq. These planes have since been in the custody of the Revolutionary Guard corps.

During the presidency of Khatami, the corps used these planes secretly as their means of transport for themselves
and their families and on many occasions, for military purposes without any licence. After the election of Ahmadinejad, the corps immediately applied to the government for a loan in order to set up an air line. The loan was paid from the National Reserves and thus the Pars Airline was established. Many of the Iraqi planes were transferred to the Pars Airline to give their flights legitimacy, thereby increasing the number of official flights including flights to China, Malaysia, Kish Islands, Syria and Belarus. However, the revolutionary guards, who have the complete control of these planes, have continuously been using these planes for secret military missions especially since the Israeli attacks on Lebanon. Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Jordan closed their air traffic for the Iranian flights including Pars Airline flights to Lebanon and Syria. However, with the failure of negotiations to reopen the air traffic, the revolutionary guards have made many attempts to fly over Turkey but each time made to return to Iran. Recently, Israeli and American fighters forced one of these planes loaded with mid-range missiles heading to Lebanon to land back in Iran.