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Comment: 'Indiscriminate US Sanctions Resulted in Crash'

15 Jul 2009 16:1783 Comments

Iranians gather near the debris of the Caspian Airlines plane which crashed into a farmland near the city of Qazvin, northwest of Tehran. -- AFP

A personal account of loss, and a historical reminder of America's complicity in the 1,571 civilian air deaths in Iran since the Revolution

Dispatch from Iran | 15 July 2009

[TEHRAN BUREAU] opinion: A Russian made Tupolov aircraft belonging to the Iranian airline Caspian crashed today en route from Tehran to Erevan, Armenia, killing all 168 passengers on board, among them the national Judo youth team and a friend of mine.

She was a doctor going to Erevan to take her USMLE exams so that maybe someday she could continue her studies in the United States. As grief overcomes me, I start searching for the guilty parties and one party stands out: the United States.

Before the Revolution, the Iranian national airline, Homa, used to be the pride of Iranians. One of the biggest international airlines equipped with the latest airplanes, Iran Air, was ranked as the second safest airline in the world in 1976, second only to Qantas. But after the Revolution and because of the sanctions leveled against Iran by the United States, any sale of aircraft or their parts to Iran was declared illegal and thus a once magnificent fleet fell into disarray and disrepair.

Throughout the years, the Iranian technicians became more and more efficient in aircraft maintenance, but lack of essential parts meant the aged and battered fleet faced technical problems, flight delays and crashes. As the sanctions stated, it was prohibited to sell Iran anything that contained more than 10% US technology and most aircraft -- including Airbuses and of course Boeings -- fell into this category. So Iran looked for alternatives and found one in the shaky, noisy and unreliable Russian Tupolov, many of which have crashed in Iran and around the world.

Since the Revolution, many airplanes have crashed in Iran. Roughly 1,500 flight incidents have been reported, including more than 60 crashes that led to the loss of 1,571 lives. In 1988, the USS Vincennes shot down Iran Air Flight 655, killing all 290 passengers over the Persian Gulf. The captain of the ship, William C. Rogers III, was later awarded the Legion of Merit for his command.

As for the rest of the 1,571 dead passengers, the US still carries a part of the blame. I know no one in the United States planned to kill any of these passengers, but still they failed to ensure that their government's sanctions had their desired effect -- to hurt the Islamic government. Instead, it has been the people who have paid the price.

A simple "IF" clause could have spared the lives of hundreds; something like: "Sale of passenger aircraft or parts for maintenance of such aircraft is exempt from sanction." But nobody bothered, and as is the norm with sanctions, they made the people bleed and fortified the position of the government. Most of the sanctions against Iran are indiscriminate and even useless; indiscriminate, because they have interfered with the daily life of Iranians, and useless because the government has always found ways around them.

Take for example the arms embargo in place against Iran. Although it has stopped the flow of weapons from the West into Iran, the Russians and the Chinese have supplied Iran with a vast and deadly arsenal. During the Iran/Iraq War, even America and Israel sold missiles to Iran in what is now most famously known as the Iran-Contra affair.

As an Iranian, I believe that the time has come to fine-tune the sanctions against Iran. I don't mind actions taken against the government of Iran, as I don't believe that it is a legitimate government. However, special care is needed to exclude the people of Iran. Designing sanctions is a very delicate task, one that may backfire and end up causing more harm than good; it requires enough research and field data as well as safety valves in order to exclude the people.

My friend was going to Erevan because, despite the many applicants in Iran, US law prevents the USMLE exam to be held in Iran. My friend died en route to Erevan because under the US law, selling of new reliable aircraft to Iran is prohibited.

I greatly admire President Barack Obama. To me, he seems to be a man of reason, logic and pragmatism. It is time for his administration to review and refine the old-fashioned, out-dated and harmful sanctions of the previous administrations.

Such attitudes should not be limited to sanctions, but in general I expect the Western powers to take a more pro-people approach towards Iran. For example, when the US Congress passes a bill for millions of dollars in support of opposition groups in Iran, it ends up allowing the Iranian government to label opposition members and dissidents as spies on the American payroll or as hooligans funded by the United States working towards a velvet revolution. Instead, those funds could be invested in providing a free flow of information to the Iranian people; it could be used to design software that can overcome any Internet filtering. Unfortunately a company like Nokia-Siemens has sold a phone-tapping device to Iran, justifying it simply as "business."

In diplomacy, the world is too focused on the nuclear issue and ignores human rights. A government that doesn't respect the rights and lives of its own citizens is more likely to endanger the rights and lives of the neighboring countries. What really worries me is that the world is ready to make a concession on the human rights issue if Iran is willing to make a concession on the nuclear issue. I plea to the world leaders: please make sure that human rights issues don't take a backseat when it comes to the nuclear issue.

As I am writing this, I can't help but worry that because I am planning to take the USMLE exam myself in the near future, perhaps I will share the same unfortunate fate of my friend. If with our demonstrations we have shown the world a new face of Iran, maybe the world should smile back at this face and help to protect it from the tyrants who rule over this great nation.

Copyright (c) 2009 Tehran Bureau

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I am so grieved at the death of your friend. More tragic waste of life and promise.

And your points are valid ones. I hope the Obama administration will hear of this,

and take corrective actions.

You have my prayers for your friend, her family, and everyone who loved her.

Bless you all very much, Peg

Peg / July 15, 2009 12:41 PM

You're wrong to blame the U.S. for the evils of your government. Get rid of them, and the sanctions will end.

John / July 15, 2009 12:43 PM

This article is full of nonsense. The plane was a Soviet-era Tu-154M. Its spare parts are manufactured in Russia. The Russians have not been enforcing any embargo.

Therefore, the U.S. embargo had no effect on the parts in the aircraft.

Moreover, it is premature to attribute the cause of the crash to any factor. Only a proper investigation, which can take months, can adduce the cause of the crash.

Please, before publishing articles like this, get your facts straight!

Aviation Specialist / July 15, 2009 1:13 PM

1)Russians have more modern airplanes. They are also opposing sanctions to Iran. In that case why Iranians do not buy more modern airplanes from Iran and why author complains against US sanctions? If Russians and Chinese do not want to sell parts and airplanes to Iran why US should?

2) Siemens and Nokia are not US companies, Siemens is German company and Nokia is Finish company, why author connects them to America sanctions?

3) Author is saying that because of American help government of Iran is labeling reformers as spies on america payroll, but in the next paragraph author wants America to put more stress on human rights than on nuclear issue. If author wants America to put more stress on human rights would not government of Islamic Republic of Iran continue to call them spies and accuse America of trying to do "soft overthrow of government of Iran" What is, according to author, the difference between one support and the other support?

4) Why author wants West (and america) to stop paying attention to nuclear weapons which are (probably) being developed by research institutes of pasdaran in Iran? Would paying less attention to them and ending the sanctions on nuclear weapons will stop IRI from developing them or would the result be just the opposite?

5 I support Iranians and green wave but as of now the leader of Iran is still Khamenei and it is he who has control over foreign policy and over nuclear reasearch and not Ahmadinejad or (hopefully) the next president - Mousavi..

ella / July 15, 2009 1:34 PM

To Aviation Specialist: This article is NOT about this particular plane, but the fact that Iran is FORCED INTO buying junk from Russia because of U.S. sanctions. Sanctions which ultimately HURT and KILL our people! And have no consequence for the Iranian government.

And let's not forget Iran Air Flight 655 which has nothing to do with sanctions but was DIRECTLY shot down by US missiles!

Pedestrian / July 15, 2009 3:41 PM

It is quite interesting to me the degree to which some people are unaware of the actions of their government, the author is stating that due to the sanctions, Iran is forced to buy russian tupolovs which I am sure that "Aviation Specialist!!" is aware that is not allowed to fly over Europe due to safety concerns. some people are blissfully ignorant. Please open your eyes and base your judgements on the facts not on your sense of patriotism. Nobody is accusing us or America per se, all that is said is that the sanction policies have been wrong.

ovid / July 15, 2009 4:22 PM

Even in face of loss of a dear friend, I can avoid making personal statements and I try to make sound judgement based on facts, and resort only to criticize what many even inside the political rings of the United States believe is a failed policy, yet the commentators some of whom seem not to have even read the article thoroughly or bothered to get their facts right, take this article as a personal attack.

I know that russian aircrafts or their parts are not part of the embargo, but have you ever wondered why so few airlines in the world operate them? do you know their safety records? why do you think is it that after years of purchasing Airbuses and Boeings, Iran had to buy Topolovs?

Accepting fault and I am not saying guilt, is a sign of intelligence and humanity. It is why we as humans have progressed so much, because we make mistakes, we correct them and we go on. I find it ironic that my friend lost her life and I have to explain how unjust was her death. I find her death hard to grasp, because I know that her death could have easily been avoided. But someone goes on to say "topple your regime and we will lift the sanctions" well thank you very much for your advice, why should you care? sanction is merely a word for you...for me it means a lost friend...lost friends and brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers...............

Author / July 15, 2009 4:55 PM

This is like a mental heath patient. Blame everyone but your self's. I wonder if your own Government brought the plane down? Here in the USA we investigate first. Not just say they did it in a few short hours. Get real

William / July 15, 2009 4:58 PM

It is not US fault! It is Iran's government's. Don't you see that we should blame Iran's gov not US?!

Unknown / July 15, 2009 4:58 PM

I think to blame the sanctions on this crash is missing the point. Caspian should should be responsible and ground planes that are not airworthy. Ultimately, all airlines have the duty to fly safe planes.

Rick / July 15, 2009 5:03 PM

"but the fact that Iran is FORCED INTO buying junk from Russia because of U.S. sanctions"

Sorry "Pedestrian" bu that's nonsense. I'm sure the EU would be happy to sell Airbus products to Iran.

The Iranian gov't has been at war with the US for going on 30 years. I look forward to that ending soon and the people of Iran getting a government that respects their rights but until then, the US simply isn't going to, nor should it, do business with a country that bankrolls terrorists like Hezbollah.

Drew / July 15, 2009 5:05 PM

I fully agreed with Ella. This article is at least crazy.

Mikael / July 15, 2009 5:09 PM

The author is putting up a lot of misinformation. US sanctions did not cause the Russian made airplane to go down. US placed the sanctions on Iran because Iranian government took their embassy staff hostage and considers US to be the great satin. I am an Iranian, love my country and hate the Iranian government. Between us Iranians, we would not have this problem if Iranian government would spent all the oil money on the country's infrastructure, including its aviation industry, instead of either sending the money to foreign accounts or spending it on rebuilding South Lebanon (to support Hezalah). What we need is a new government.

shawn / July 15, 2009 5:14 PM

While one could argue that the sanctions are to blame, the actions of the IR gov't and rhetoric by its leaders has brought the sanctions upon themselves and the people.

It is proven that sanctions do not work, no argument there, yet what has lead to these sanctions should also be examined. It is no secret the IR gov't is in bed with Russia even at the expense of safety of its civilians, I hate to see the headlines if an nuclear disaster is to occur.

Iran was successful in purchasing several new Fokker aircraft a few years ago, if boeing and airbus are not an option, Bombardier, Fokker and other aircraft may be an alternative(s) in the meantime.

HRH / July 15, 2009 5:18 PM

this was a tragic loss. But the plane was an old russian clonker.... the US sanctions are irrelevant since the parts would only be available from russia. I know its easy and convenient to point the finger at USA - but the real culprit is the iranian regime that has spent the wealth of the nation on hiring and trainig thugs to beat and rape its own people (not to mention spread terrorism around the world in the name of islam).

speak the truth / July 15, 2009 5:22 PM

The US has nothing to do with this incident. The plane is Russian made and there are no sanctions imposed by Russia.

Furthermore, several years ago the US lifted sanctions for civilian aircraft parts specifically to avoid this.

I see only two scenarios for this tragedy:

The first is that the operator did not maintain the aircraft as it should have, and knowing the state of affairs in Iran, that's the most likely scenario.

My second scenario is a conspiracy theory (we Iranians love conspiracies): but I actually would not be a bit surprised if this was done by the regime itself just to distract people from the events in the streets and the regime brutalities. After all, this is a regime that has shown zero disregard for the lives of its people. This incident gives the regime something else to talk about, and who knows, maybe even gives them more reasons to blame the US for something it had nothing to do with.

Ali / July 15, 2009 5:29 PM

Iran has been in a more or less undeclared state of war with the US since 1979. It is not surprising that the US would decline to trade with them. If this makes it hard for Iran to buy US airplanes, then perhaps they should reconsider their stance vis a vis the US. The loss of any life is a tragedy. However, like Saddam in Iraq, the government of Iran seems more than willing to sacrifice its own citizenry to promote its agenda.

Shr_Nfr / July 15, 2009 5:30 PM

There is no evidence that sanctions were the *proximate* cause of this incident. Sanctions against a government will have, at the very least, an indirect negative effect upon the citizens or "residents" of a country. This impact is unavoidable, no matter how much "tweaking" occurs, or the sanctions will have no appreciable impact upon the behavior of the "rogue" government (i.e. "No fresh flowers may be exported to Iran!").

No, it's not fair, but life is full of compromises. We all make them every day, from peons like me to world leaders (and we've certainly had some bad ones, so there's room for improvement).

What this really boils down to: your friend died. I'm very, very sorry.

NT_ / July 15, 2009 5:44 PM

Hello Tehran Bureau,

Thank you for your many insightful, useful commentaries about Iran and how it works. Your effort is educating many foreigners, including those in the US. Here's hoping you'll continue your generosity.

However, in this reader's view, this article misses the mark of educating by a mile and evokes discussion like below:

"To Aviation Specialist: This article is NOT about this particular plane, but the fact that Iran is FORCED INTO buying junk from Russia because of U.S. sanctions. Sanctions which ultimately HURT and KILL our people! And have no consequence for the Iranian government."

Any government would be completely foolish to contribute technology to Iran. Look only at the their government actions to understand why. The number one problem in this cast of characters is the Iran government itself. The 'greens' current complaints: thousands of lies, criminal acts, oppression and cruelty to its own people who merely wish for votes to be counted.

The Iran government has proven itself completely unreliable both locally and internationally. Irani rulers have been working very hard for a long time to make today what it is, and in fact, still are working hard. Sanctioners don't intend harm to Iran's citizens -- they only hope to prevent more destruction of others by its government.

Am totally in empathy with the current Irani citizen situation and wish all Iraqis every joy, all happiness and long life. I grieve that you lost a friend. But please do not blame this plane crash and tragic loss of life on US sanctions against Iran. This article, unlike your other excellent contributions, is illogical.

Thanks again for your generous contributions.

Well / July 15, 2009 6:10 PM

Death comes, a thief. You may flee him in Bagdhad, but he will be waiting for you in your hotel in Damascus... so the story goes.

Condolances on the death of your fine and noble friend... it's heart-breaking.

Any blame rests squarely, and unequivocally, on the IRI thugs, those of '79 and those there (still) now-- not on the Americani, not on the Europeans. The IRI thugs bought cheap third-world junk from the Russians. Blame both of them. It is the IRI thugs who are still playing the juggle-game between Great Britain and Mother Russia, from the XIXth century.

The time is here, and ticking fast, when the Iranian people will rise up and throw the IRI out-- thugs, imams, aya, monkeys, the whole circus of cruel monsters.

The Lion will roar.

Roman / July 15, 2009 6:35 PM

This article bothered me. The moment I read the crash news I thought this might be their own insider job to put the blame on the west.

West not selling the aircraft parts has always been the one point everyone in iran agreed with against west (by everyone I mean everyone pro or against the gov.)

Although it's a comment and respected one, it maybe for best interest to publish another comment from my point of view!

I feel like this is exactly what they wanted.!!!

I may be wrong.

iamworried / July 15, 2009 6:36 PM

First of all let me say how sorry I am for your loss and for all of the other loss of life on that plane today.

I too, think the article is 'muddled', BUT I think it's 'muddled' because the situation is muddled. I read the article and agree with nearly everything you've written but sadly, I don't think there are any easy answers because politicians on both sides have dug themselves into large holes over the last 30 years - and that truly is the tragedy of this situation.

Sanctions are always contentious. Every time I've seen them actioned around the world, they've always ended up hitting the 'man in the street' hard even if they weren't meant to. I've always wondered if it isn't better to boycott products coming out of countries rather than take sanctions against them.

These particular sanctions seem to have been pretty unsuccessful in achieving their aim, in part because they're (on the whole) not supported by other countries and it strikes me that if that's the case, then maybe it's because other countries either think they're not going to work or they're counter-productive. Maybe they've got a point.

On the other hand, you mention the Nokia-Siemens deal; that equipment came from a European company, rather than from the US and was not covered by US sanctions. For another outside government like the US to put money into breaking that would be an incredibly disastrous and dangerous thing to do, both for them and for the people of Iran even though I believe that the US Congress passing that bill for millions of dollars in support of opposition groups in Iran was incredibly and totally stupid, stupid, stupid!

As you mention, the 10% rule stops you buying European Airbus' too (although I think I'm right in saying that there are some airbuses which have Rolls Royce engines in which you could buy). I found some interesting information today and it's food for thought; in the article you're not very complimentary about the Russian planes, it's something I've always believed too. But looking at the figures on Wikipedia, the Tu-154M has had (sale for sale) LESS incidents and also less fatalities than its competitor the 727.

I don't think the world is too focused on nuclear issues at all, I'd like to see them all go, every single one of them (hey, I can dream...) but I believe I'll have to settle for the wording of the NPT needs to be cleaned up so there can be no dispute about enrichment in the future. I think you're dead right though that trading off human rights for nuclear issues is a recipe for disaster which ever way you look at it.

galgo / July 15, 2009 7:12 PM

so let me get this straight....

If anything goes wrong in Iran Blame the US and Israel....

sorry I feel your grief for the loss of a loved one but you need to put the blame on Iran and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad....or the Ayatollahs who have decided NOT TO RESPECT your vote...

maybe if enough members of the Iranian military grew a back bone they would rid your country of a dictator and allow the VOTE OF THE PEOPLE to be herd

Concerned Human / July 15, 2009 7:22 PM

First, I am sad about the loss of your friend and all of the loss of life.

Generally, I appreciate your work at the Tehran Bureau. I RT'd your beautiful post about your life and family just last night.

However, blaming the USA for sanctions on selling its aircraft, or anything is illogical. The real blame is on the Iranian government and the Russian government and manufacturers and to some extent on the people on Iran who have not stood up to their government until only recently.

The USA did not force the Iranian government to do business with the Russian aircraft manufacturers. The USA is not responsible for the Iranian government's lack of care for the welfare of its citizens. If the Iranian government wanted to do business with the USA it needed and needs to change its policies. The blame lies in a ruthless Iranian government that does not protect its citizens but plunders the wealth of Iran, kills and beats its citizens and threatens the world with its policies.

Many people in the USA, myself included, care deeply for the Iranian people and want to see you free with a real democracy and all human rights. However Iran is not an occupied nation. The government of Iran is controlled by Iranians, even if it is really a dictatorship of clerics.

The fault here is firmly on the shoulders of Iran's government and anyone who supported it in any way. That government needs to be held responsible for its policies and the results of those policies on its people-- by its people. Blaming another government will not bring real change in Iran.

JudyRey Wasserman / July 15, 2009 8:08 PM

As with any regime and sanctions, it is always the innocent who suffer. The innocent in Iran are suffering, murdered and tortured today not because of America but because of their murderous, evil leaders.

So much hate in the world today..ego,greed,politics,religion..

Teney (an American) / July 15, 2009 8:57 PM

Please don't be pointing the blame at the US because of the incompetence and corruptness of the Iranian government. How come they have enough money and resources to purchase equipment that is used to suppress any kind of revolt but they cannot afford or get aircraft from the European Union? PLEASE.

The reason fellow Iranians are dying is because the current government does not give a damn about them. They gladly spend money on Lebanon and Hezbollah, send weapons into Iraq and Afghanistan but when it comes to Iranians the same old, exhausted rhetoric of 'It's the US' fault" is brought up.

Why is China, and Russia not held accountable? They are pushing their crap onto Iran just because they can.

Iranian / July 15, 2009 9:01 PM

I sincerely apologize...for every injustice that has happened in your country and many others. I pray that instead of having a blamestorming session and bringing up the past we can all stand up to ALL injustices around the globe and work together to reach a solution. We are all the same and we all have felt hurt or injustice. Nobody can judge which injustice is more. Let us put the past in the past and join hands for a better future. Let us show our fathers and mothers that we are very capable of doing what there generation could not do. Live in peace. We are all brothers and sisters, regardless of race, creed, nationality, or any other words you can use to segregate us. 1 Love, 1 God people. "A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet." Isn't God by any other name still the same God?

Marium / July 15, 2009 9:14 PM

This is all the American's fault -- it is very clear to me that America caused this disaster. Shame, shame, shame.

Radical Guy / July 15, 2009 9:59 PM

Radical Guy:

Why you people blamed US for your misfortunes? You should instead blamed it on your government. If your hardline government just went easy with this nuclear issues I believe there will be no sanctions imposed. But your government refused to heed. All the disasters that have happened could only be pointed to your leaders who up to this very moment stood their ground.

I pity the people. They are the ones suffering. You know what you should do Radical guy? Join the green movement and help oust your Supreme Leader and his monkies of followers. If that happens, lets see what comes next...

shetty / July 15, 2009 10:42 PM

You were protesting because your right to vote was taken away, but you were voting for very similar, if not the same, key policies. But Mousavi would be YOUR choice and you'd be content. So don't mistaken compassion for protests against an oppressive regime and loss of innocent human life with stupidity. You want to have a spin on the story and blame the US? What about all those American soldiers blown up in Iraq on Iranian road mines or killed by fighters funded by Iran? Or what about all those civilians around the world blown up and killed on Iranian influence and money? Why don't you patronize the mullahs about those deaths? What do you think their reaction would be? Should we smile back at that face, too? Cold war ended because Soviet Union ran out of money building nuclear bombs, not because the West imposed sanctions on Politburo and signed free trade agreements with "the people". I apologize for such bluntness and indifference, but you're out of line on this one

Alex / July 15, 2009 10:45 PM

@ Drew: the EU is NOT willing to sell Airbus products or planes to Iran because the United States penalizes European companies that do business with Iran.

And our entire argument is that something as critical as human life should NOT be subject to sanctions! Irrespective of who our government supports!

And what does Hezbollah have to do with this? What about blind U.S. support for Israel? What does that have to do with selling Iran airplane parts? And not letting Europe sell it to Iran either?

@Shr_Nfr: Yes, with much thanks to the chemical weapons shipped and gift wrapped for Saddam in the east coast of the United States (France and Germany), thousands of Iranians were gassed! And hundreds of thousands left dead. So stop lecturing our government. Go figure out a way to leash and control your own.

Pedestrian / July 15, 2009 11:37 PM

From Wikipedia on US sanctions:


wiki / July 16, 2009 2:27 AM



I can't believe you are so uninformed to ignore the actual uge volume of commercial exchange between european countries and Iran; moreover spare parts for a russian plane obviously can be bought from Russia; so I must think you aren't writing in good faith. You're using a terrible accident to tell untruths and to make propaganda against the West.

And I wonder why?

Who are you? Do you really rappresents anti-regime movement? It's significant for me to know that. I need to know it because if anti-regime movement share the same regime's false slogans then something is going wrong. Shure is going wrong about my and other western people


Otherwise you'd be enough honest to declare you're a Khameney/Ahmadinejad supporter, then we can debate knowing reciprocal positions.

Mikael / July 16, 2009 2:37 AM

Usually I agree with the articles here, but I'm with Alex on this one. And apart from that, I find it ironic that a country that has the money and technology to built nuclear power plants, if not nuclear weapons, cannot manage to build or maintain their own airplanes. Sounds to me like the problem is the Iranian government has their priorities screwed up, and that's not the fault of the U.S.

Anonymous / July 16, 2009 2:43 AM

I noticed my precedent post answering to pedestrian has been censored. Ever better.

Now I repeat.

Pedestrian says "EU is NOT willing to sell Airbus products or planes to Iran because the United States penalizes European companies that do business with Iran"

But everyone knows there is an huge commercial exchange between european countryes and Iran; so his statement is false; also is false that Iran can mantain his russian made planes only buying parts from EU; globally talking is blatantly false the charge to US and west for plane crashed.

At this point I can't evitate tu wonder why. This false statement, speculating shameless on a tragedy, are parts in method and substance of khameney/Ahmadinejad propaganda.

Is this the moderate movement? In this case there has been a big misunderstending in our solidarity to movement, since it doesn't differ from regime. Or are Pedestrian and article autor khamenei's supporters?

Mikael / July 16, 2009 5:19 AM

When on earth are you all going to stop blaming everyone but yourselves for your predicament? That's when you will be mature enough to enjoy the political freedoms you hanker after.

Tony / July 16, 2009 7:23 AM

If the IRI can make ballistic missiles by itself, it certainly can figure out aircraft maintenance and manufacturing. Nevertheless, it's easier to blame its own failings on the U.S. Isn't that what scapegoats are for?

Richard Kadas / July 16, 2009 9:01 AM

Radical Guy...with your ilk it's always an "eye for an eye". No wonder you cannot see clearly out of either eye!

To all the victims...RIP...to all their families....my condolences!

v.gerrard / July 16, 2009 10:32 AM

@Mikeal: "everyone knows there is an huge commercial exchange between European countryes and Iran" on running shoes maybe! On less strategic industrial products yes! But not on Airbus planes! Get your facts straight!

And if condemning the wrongful policies of the Western world makes me an "Ahamadinejad supporter" ... Then so be it. If your logic is that misconstrued and unimaginative, that is no concern of mine. But just for the record, I can despise Monsieur Ahmadinejad WHILE STILL despising the policies that are being propagated by the leaders of the so called "free world" against my people!!!!

And just for the record, this article (at least what I understand from it) does not mean to strip Iran's own rulers of any responsibility. Those of us in Iran have our hands full right now with trying to get these very rulers to act more humanely towards their people. It is meant to say that Iran's responsibility aside, the sanctions are NOT working to make our day to day life in Iran any better. Quite the opposite. They (the sanctions) are not working against the government, but against ordinary people.

Pedestrian / July 16, 2009 10:35 AM

Unfortunately, sanctions do hurt people, but they are the only non-military way at the moment to exert pressure on a regime that has been a scourge since its existence. It's easy to look for blame, but the ONLY entity to blame for this tragedy is the clerical regime itself, which has refused to operate within the guidelines set by U.N. and other international organizations. If they had done so, these sanctions would not exist, would they? It is heartbreaking that innocent people continue to die, but these deaths, like the people killed and jailed during the recent peaceful protests, are at the hands of the regime. Iran's state-controlled media has continued to send out propaganda daily, attempting to place the responsibility for everything and anything (including a protest by THE PEOPLE) on the United States. This article appears to try to do the same.

Irani / July 16, 2009 12:18 PM

"And our entire argument is that something as critical as human life should NOT be subject to sanctions! Irrespective of who our government supports!"


The US has exempted aircraft part sales for safety reasons from the embargo (http://www.payvand.com/news/06/oct/1129.html), even under Bush.

Personally, I disagree with that. I don't want to see innocent people die but I also don't think we have a moral obligation to do business with a country whose government has killed a number of our fellow citizens from almost its first days in existence.

As I've said before, I know there are a lot of bad feelings on both sides and I think America shares responsibility for what has happened over the years but all nation to nation relationships are filled with tension and past bad deeds.

The American people are responsible for the actions of our government and so are the Iranian people and actions have consequences. There's no practical way or reason to separate the two.

Drew / July 16, 2009 12:23 PM

This tragedy is a big embarrasment for Russia. As much as US and EU are to blame for their inhumane sanctions against the Iranian people, Russia is to be blamed for sending their scrap and old passenger jets to Iran. Iran should not allow any Russian airfraft older than 5 years to be used in its air space. US claims to be with the Iranian people but the US administration actions show otherwise. It is time for people of the world to know that the US government is the most cruel in the world. US government used two atomic bombs on Japan and knowingly shut down the Iran Air plane with 290 people on board. Shame, shame on this facist government.

Sam / July 16, 2009 12:24 PM

Sorry, the link doesn't seem to work. I think it's because I put parenthesis around it.

Let me try again...


Drew / July 16, 2009 12:33 PM


Its a method question. If an aiplane crashes in the west, first of all we try to understand why it did appened. There isn't any rational reason to blame anyone for now about this accident but absence of international safety rules in your country. Anyway there are first of all Caspian's responsibility to be examinate. You appear no capable to wait and needed to blame west countries immediatly and about everything. This is a jihadist way to think and to act.

Instead you should know that unsafeless in civil aviation, is part of the mismanagement and corruption that your regime has been practicing for 30 years.

They, your regime, do quick deals and close the deals without following international laws, rules or standards for aviation or anything.

This is the true and I think you know it, as well as I do. So it appens that you took this dramatic accident as pretext for a foolish attac against us. Because you don't get Airbus ...

Sanctions are necessary to insulate a dangerious regime that is threating us, almost everytime Ahmadinejad speaks. Shure we won't give sophisticated areonauthic technologies to a fanatic dictature that declared jihad against us and is further missile technology with the declared intention of threatening us. And now is getting the Bomb. The old nightmare of an Hitlerian-like dictature with nuclear weapons is realizing right now. We will stop it, we have no choice.

Mikael / July 16, 2009 12:49 PM

Sam..How do you come off stating that the U.S. gov't is the cruelest gov't in the world? Remember Nazi Germany? It was the men and women of the U.S. who kept us all from speaking German and Japan..the bomb..remember Pearl Harbor..Enough said! Maybe you should ask the young and old in Iran who is the cruelest gov't in the world after they have been beaten, tortured and friends and family killed at the hands of YOUR Government!

Teney / July 16, 2009 2:47 PM

First and foremost, my condolences to the families and friends of the passengers. This was a terrible tragedy.

I am an Iranian American, and unfortunately I've noticed that there seems to be an instictive Iranian reaction to blame things on the west. It's valid in some aspects but in this accident it doesn't ring true.

As Mikael stated if it was an equipment malfunction and not pilot error, Caspian airlines and it's safety staff are primarily responsible. After that the next most responsible party is the Iranian aviation safety group (if they have one). Flying isn't a right, it's a modern convienence to expedite travel. The next most responsible party would be the Iranian regime who makes decisions on where to spend it's billions of dollars.

From what I know, they have chosen to put Billions into a nuclear program which is supported by the Iranian people. Secondly, the Regime has chosen to fatten their own pockets, with Billions of Iranian money in Swiss and European banks. They have neglected to maintain infrustructure outside of Tehran. They have an ineffective refining capabalities, and have to export some of their oil to be refined, then import it back.

After all those culprits, then yes the west's sanctions very indirectly affected this crash, but in no way it was a primary reason.

emadigras / July 16, 2009 3:13 PM

I would not blame it exclusively on one country or the other but It could be shared by Iran the US and Russia!

Jim / July 16, 2009 4:09 PM

OMG! Here we go again! It's your fault! no, it's yours. The US did not put the unsafe plane in the air. The airline did. If the plane isn't safe don't fly it and quit blameing everyone else. Sanctions are meant to put pressure on the gov't so that they may change thier ways. They did't change so in your thinking your gov't would be to blame not the US. I don't want innocent people to die or be treated badly, but you got to start taking responsibility for yourself and quit blaming everyone else for your miserable living conditions. Your leaders are killing you! Do something about it for God's sake.

Lyle / July 16, 2009 4:26 PM


US Approves Sale of Jetliner Engine Spare Parts to Iran

By David Gollust, VOA, Washington

The Bush administration has approved an expedited sale to Iran of engine spare parts for Airbus jetliners operated by the country's national airline, Iran Air. Officials say the decision is strictly safety-related.

U.S. sanctions against Iran bar most kinds of trade with Tehran. But the Bush administration is making an exception in the case of the engine spare parts, which are being provided on an expedited basis because of a recent safety warning by the U.S. Federal Aviation administration.

The aviation agency recommended the immediate overhaul of the engines for the European Airbus planes, which were supplied by the U.S. industrial combine General Electric.

The administration notified Congress of the decision two weeks ago, but announcement of the move by the State Department did not come until late Tuesday.

In talk with reporters, State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said the decision is purely a matter of civil aviation safety and not connected with the difficult U.S.-Iranian political relationship.

He said that absent the repairs, the engine issue could have posed a significant threat to the safe operation of the jetliners and that was something the United States wanted to avoid if at all possible.

"It is the assessment of the experts, the companies, that this was something that was needed, and the United States certainly was not going to be in the position of threatening civil aviation, safety for the Iranian people," he said.

A written statement by the State Department said the engine repairs for the Iran Air planes would be performed in third countries, and that no U.S. exports would go directly to Iran.

It reiterated what it said were grave U.S. concerns about Iranian government activities, including its pursuit of nuclear weapons and support for terrorism.

It said the spare parts decision was consistent with a U.S. commitment to support the humanitarian interests of Iranians and to use sanctions to, quote, "Target the regime, not the Iranian people".

Iran has a number of U.S.-made civilian airliners dating back to before the country's 1979 Islamic revolution that have been largely grounded because of spare-parts shortages.

Earlier this year, the Bush administration offered to provide various types of aircraft spare parts, and to end U.S. opposition to Iranian membership in the World Trade Organization, in a move to bolster the European nuclear initiative with Tehran.

But Iran has spurned the so-called carrots and sticks offer that it halt uranium enrichment and return to nuclear talks with the Europeans, and it is now facing possible sanctions in the U.N. Security Council.

Lyle / July 16, 2009 4:36 PM

So who's to blame?

Lyle / July 16, 2009 4:37 PM

I agree that the sanctions should not be blamed for this crash. That is lazy thinking.

Isn't this jet a Russian designed plane? Since when has Russia respected international sanctions?

The blame must be placed on the operators of Caspian airlines and manufacturers of the airplane.


Maziar / July 16, 2009 5:45 PM

@Drew: "I don't want to see innocent people die but I also don't think we have a moral obligation to do business with a country whose government has killed a number of our fellow citizens from almost its first days in existence."

As I wrote here before, by our lowest estimates, 700,000 Iranians died during the Iran-Iraq war. During which the United States supplied, gift wrapped and abundantly equipped the Iraqi side to fight Iran. U.S. missiles directly SHOT down an Iranian passenger plane. You have spread nothing but war and blood in Iraq, for fear of "WMD". Well, IRAN is the country worst hit by weapons of mass destruction all of which came as GIFTS from your own country to Saddam. I can go on for quite a while. So in terms of numbers I don't think you can argue like that when your own government has been responsible for more deaths in Iran than you could in your mind even IMAGINE.

That is just irrelevant. If you are going to argue, you can never come out as the "righteous" side when there clearly isn't one. Please don't argue "morals" with me when your government is completely bankrupt of a shoe holes worth of any morality. All you have is more power, but so does the mafia. At most, you are a stronger mafia. A much stronger mafia. And that's all you have going for you.

@Mikael: I'm sorry to tell you, but you gotta wake up from that little dream world you live in. A world created, fueled and fed by fascist elements inside your own country. As much as I despise Ahmadinejad and his thugs, that image of "old nightmare of an Hitlerian-like dictature" is only created by your own fascist media and politicians which ARE ACTUALLY complicit in the annihilation of millions of lives. The difference is that they like to speak of democracy, and wear Armani suits. They have much better PR. To fool and scare YOU and give them easier access to the complete destruction of millions of people, while you sit on your catch and watch the Simpsons. And those fascists are actually HELPING the most evil forces within the Iranian ruling establishment.


And since the media has spoon fed you and you obviously don't like to read or interpret anything on your own, I will reiterate: we NEVER SAID that our own thugs and goons inside the country are not responsible for the deaths. They certainly are. And we NEVER stop questioning their wrong, cunning actions.

But accidents like this go to show how unhelpful and even destructive the sanctions can be for ordinary people. They certainly aren't helping the people of Iran in their fight or struggle.

Pedestrian / July 16, 2009 7:18 PM


Yeah, the idea that we supplied chemical weapons to Iraq is pretty much a talking point that's never presented with any actual evidence.

As for the US being morally responsible for Iranian war dead...no sale. The US started supplying Iraq well into the war (long after the Iraqis started using chemical weapons) and only when Iraq was in danger of being defeated ( http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB82/ ).

Was support of Iraq a high point in US history? Of course not. Was it preferable to the victory of two nasty regimes (Iran's and the Soviet Union's)? Yeah, it was.

I know the US is a convenient target but believe it or not we are responsible for every bad thing that happens in the world.

Drew / July 16, 2009 9:47 PM

I am so sorry you lost another friend. My prayers are with you

Michelle / July 16, 2009 10:34 PM


you said we in the west are uninformed cause our fascist media ... well then I desume that you are well and objective informed by IRI'regime democratic and indipendent media.

That said, I see why you are histerically blaming us of a russian made plane crash!

I got my answer: a person , so aligned with IRI dictatorship's method and proclamations, so ready to lie against every evidence by de compulsive need to attack west, like you are doing, is not the same kind of people as that wich is fighting in the streets against that regime at the real risk of their own life. If you think to live in the only non-fascist country, with independent and no fascist regime's media, why should you, Pedestrian, risk anithing for the IRI dictature to die, as in protester's sologan?

Your agenda, Pedestrian, is now clarified: all of bad appens depends by Big Satan (USA), even a plane crash about wich nobody knows real cause (!!); in any case no charge to IRI theocratic dictatorship. The 2007 international conference held by IRI for negating holochaust so to rehabilitate nazist and discharge Hitler about his Historical responsibility, means nothing for you. You say that "we" are the the fascist. No Ahmadinejad nuclear weapon agenda exists in your fanatic mind, no Ahmadinejad threats against us exists, in your opinion, even if we were able to hear directly from his words, more and more times, that renew the Khomeyni's call to holy war against the West.

I 'm finally sure you aren't a protester's speaker and neither a protester at all, so there is no sense to debate with you, if we want to know what Khameney thinks we can hear him directly, thank you, any way.

Mikael / July 17, 2009 1:33 AM

@article's writer

Your incipit US sanctions results in plane crash is not true.

Nobody know, for now, the crash causes. In last months almost 2 western boeing crashed and neither we do know way, till now.

But you immediatly charged US.

The plane was a russian made aircraft commonly used all around the world, bought by an iranian flight company that is responsible for its safeness.

But, again, you immediatly charged US.

Moreover, as demonstrates in a post before this, US sanctions doesn't affect thecnologies needed for flight safety.

But, again, you immediatly charged US to kill the people on the crashed plane.

Now in my opinion it is essential, for your (and this site who published your comment) affordability, that you clarify why you lied about a so dramatic event.

May be you have to excuse for this, since charging someone of killing 130 people, saying falsity about the facts, as you did, is a very serious action.

Mikael / July 17, 2009 3:16 AM

I am often amazed by how confident are Americans that they can do not wrong.

They feel no remorse for Iraq, either for supporting Saddam or through the violence they unleashed after 2003.

As for Iran, they feel no remorse for shooting down a plane full or passengers, for supporting the shah etc.

They feel no remorse for supporting Israeli violence.

All they say is "I know the US is a convenient target .."

This site has become very disappointing. It is an American dialogue, Americans and Iranians who left with the Shah.

I will read it no longer.

Nazih Musa / July 17, 2009 3:27 AM

Pedestrian, why do you bother argueing with these people? they are brain washed ignorants. when someone can not grasp that forbidding the sale of civilian aircrafts has nothing to do with undermining a regime and only leads to human catastrophies, then he or she is a fool, completely out of his/her mind. what do you expect from the simpsons nation?

wiki / July 17, 2009 3:52 AM

A Russian made plane owned an operated by an Iranian company crashes. No analysis of the crash cause has been conducted. I know you must be deeply upset at the loss of life, but to lay the blame on United States is ridiculous.

ArrowHead / July 17, 2009 7:59 AM


How can you so informed and not mind washed, forget that this article is an explicit accusation to US of murder of 130 people on the crashed plane?

And this because USA don't sell Boeing to Iran. People died because that plane was not an USA made plane? Are you kidding?

Do you really think that american planes never crashes? Well there's a new for you: also american made planes do. An Air-france's Boeing 737 did crashed just 3 weeks ago, 200 people died. But we don't start straight to find out a plot. Al least for victims respects. Yes we are so mind-washed that before charging someone of anything, prefer to know what happened and why. Such a stupid thing, isn't it genial wiky? Yes may be there's also a cultural difference, since it appears you need to react to tragedies screaming and accusing, charging yourself against someone.

Do you know what are you talking about when accuse someone of such a murder?

Ask yourself why you need to insert a political accuse about a tragedy, that

unfortunately is common to all civil aviation, without distinctions. This is a compulsive reaction and a behavior dictated by fanaticism that neither Ahmadinejad the record man in fanaticism dare to sustain as I know. But I'm sure he's very proud of you.

Alone / July 17, 2009 8:26 AM

It is surreal: if that aircraft was a made in USA plane, they shurely claim US responsibility, but they are capable to accuse US anyway ... because that plane was not made in the USA!!

I ask more reliability and respect for the victims.

Logic / July 17, 2009 8:54 AM

Why the IRI government still allows their planes to fly commercially even if they have not undergone airworthiness? Which country still uses those rusty and unreliable Russian planes anyway? Could be your government received kickbacks from the sales of these inferior planes from Russia. My own country, which belongs to the third world was smart enough not to buy planes from Russia. And why cant Iran manufacture their own aircrafts if they can create nuclear bombs? Ahmanidejad has been bragging Iran doesn't need the west nor US but can clearly recognized Russia and China. I believe that the IRI government uses the country's billions to buy inferior stuffs from Russia and China without thinking they have been short-changed and been fooled.

shetty / July 17, 2009 9:46 AM

The irony of this article is that most of the protesters (freedom fighters) are now chanting "Down With Russia" because of the plane crash and because they know Putin's fingerprints are all over the coup.

"Russia, Shame On You! Leave My Country Alone!!"

Dave In America / July 17, 2009 9:48 AM

Look, the plane crash is a tragedy, no question. But while the US can't sell Boeings, it's simply not true that Iran can't buy Airbuses and can only fly crappy Tupolevs. How do I know? I went to Iran in 2004 and took 2 internal flights there on Iran Air (Teheran-Yazd and Shiraz-Isfahan). Both flights were on Airbuses of recent vintage.

The Iranian government can buy just about whatever it wants in the way of advanced technonlogy from the EU, and does. This is why US sanctions have had so little effect - with one exception: The ability to modernize Iran's energy sector. It's very difficult for the major oil concerns to get involved with so much pressure from the US, not to mention uncertanties such as political risk on the Iranian side.

p-dub / July 17, 2009 11:11 AM

@pedestrian + wiki

Would you like to see your lies?

Look: http://www.airplane-pictures.net/image47101.html

Iran can buy Airbus in fact *Iran Air has Airbus in his fleet*.

See your Iran Air site too.

As can you see US embargo doesn't affect in any way Iran's civilian aviation.

And, please, before writing shameless idiot things, wanting speculate on casualty, try to inform yourself.

This is also for article author and redaction as well, if you honest you have do apologize to accuse anyone of the plane crash and the murder of 130 people.

Yes iIt's a shame.

Mikael / July 17, 2009 11:43 AM

p-dub Neither you nor Pedestrian are *quite* right in stating that Iran can or cannot buy Airbus (I've stated this earlier in this comments section but I've had time to double check my facts now too). Many if not most Airbuses have engines that are US made or made by one of 2 or 3 companies that are partially US owned. In that case the 10% rule means that Iran cannot buy these planes.

There are however a small number of Airbuses that use engines made by Rolls Royce (a UK company) and Iran can, and has bought these in the past. There is a BBC article http://tinyurl.com/mgy9m3 from 2002 that explains the complexities of the sanction rules & states that at that time Iran had recently ordered 10 such planes and had plans to order another 20 'used' planes too. There are no details of what model those planes were.

In a book called 'The Middle East and North Africa 2004' by Taylor & Francis Group, Lucy Dean, page 415 states that in May 1999 Iran Air bought 4 Airbuses which were delivered in 2004, it also mentions the 2002 purchase talked about on the BBC site.

The one thing I would note though is that none of the articles mention the model of the planes purchased. It might be possible that the type of Airbuses that Iran could purchase were not suitable for the flight that crashed, whereas others that could not be purchased could have been suitable.

I'm noting again what I said on my original post, a quick look at wikipedia will show that the model of the Russian made plane that crashed actually has a BETTER safety record than its Boeing equivalent!

galgo / July 17, 2009 12:09 PM


The issue is not *if* Iran can buy Airbus since Iran Air actually *has* Airbus in his fleet. Everione can verify it and the orrible falsity in the article writing and pubblication, looking on google and searching "Iran Air Airbus", then you find Iran Air sites with his fleet description, inclusive of the ultra modern and sophisticated western tecnology known as "Airbus".

So claiming for an US murder of 130 people in this plane crash is a big and serious lie that can't be justificate.

Mikael / July 17, 2009 12:58 PM

That's incredible.

All this discussion and we now find out that Iran gat Aibuses?

What about the article? "you are killing and hurt our people"

What are he/she talking about.

IMHO this site published this article, knowing to lie, to distract from internal rebels issue.

Now I wonder who is behind all that, this site "Teheran Bureau" and Fb group "Iran"?

Is this a fake a filo-governative site?

Alone / July 17, 2009 1:10 PM


But as I posted earlier (though you may have missed), the US has lifted the embargo at times just for this purpose ( http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/06/front2454021.3375.html ). Blaming the US is for this tragedy is simply lazy and seeks to avoid responsibility for the actions of the Iranian government.

If Iranians want to buy Boeing jets and Airbus parts (trust me, we'd love to sell to them), they need to take responsibility for the actions of their government and make it the kind of country people want to do business with. Or they can keep investing their vast wealth in nuclear projects, terrorists organizations and corrupt officials. None of that is America's fault or responsibility.

Drew / July 17, 2009 2:22 PM

To All..

After reading the comments and replies on site,,I ask you..Do you ever look to the heavens at nite and marvel at it's creation or watch a young child play and smile or even look at the beauty surrounding us or thank God for your family and friends..or gripe about each of our gov'ts and some of the decisions they make..feel sad for people of the world who are suffering and hungry..be sad because your soccer, football or basketball team didn't win or think about why we are all here and know deep in our souls that we somehow are all connected like it or not.

Don't you see..we do have things in common and somehow, sometime we have to make that a priority. Respect one another for our differences can only enrich us as members of this world called mankind. May all of us find the path that God created us for. Thankyou

Teney / July 17, 2009 2:42 PM

Perhaps I need to further explain what I was trying to say with the article.

First of all, I did not blame US for the crash, not entirely, I merely noted a string of events that has led to many crashes in Iran's post revolution aviation. let us follow the string: part of the sanctions leveled against Iran by US, were to deny it from civilian airplanes and their parts. This meant that Boeings and Airbuses (which almost all contain more than 10% us technology and thus are included in the sanctions) and their parts could not be sold to Iran. To offset this Iran started to but russian made tupolovs three of which have crashed recently in Iran (they have stopped manufacturing TU154 since 1989) Iran is trying to buy newer Tupolovs but the question of reliability remains. So although not directly responsible for the crashes, US policy has pushed Iran into a situation where it is using airplanes that are not airworthy. Even NY Times mentioned the sanctions as a causative agent.

Then comes the amendments made by Bush administration in which it was stated that Iran could purchase maintenance parts from third parties for it's airplanes as well as allowing Iran to buy second hand Airbuses with a minimum flight time. This actually has made no differences, because first of all the existing american built fleet is on average 32 years old, so mere maintenance parts (which despite the amendments are still almost impossible to purchase except from black market) are useless. The amendment allowed Iran to buy two Airbuses both of them over twenty years old and lease a third one. But the problem remains.

All of this aside, I simply cannot follow the logic behind denying civilian aircrafts to a country. How could it affect the government of Iran? The target of the sanctions should be the government not people. If the US denies Iranian officials Visas or make other countries do the same, then it is a political sanction targeting the government. I am argueing that well thought, fine tuned sanctions should replace the current ones.

I mentioned that except the IR flight 655, for the other crashes, US is partly to blame, not US but it's policy. I don't deny that IRI is to blame as well, or the russians. But you see it all comes to what someone expect from others. US portraits itself as a staunch advoacate of human rights, while Iranian regime or the russians don't. I dont get why the readers try to defend a policy which has been proven wrong. In a democratic country a wrong policy can be changed. It is not a matter of patriotism or your national pride, I cannot comprehend why you find yourselves offended.

Please once again ask yourselves "do we need to deny Iranians new reliable aircrafts in order for their government to change its way?"

Author / July 17, 2009 3:37 PM

Where did you reply, Teney?

Alone / July 17, 2009 3:39 PM

To Alone..don't understand your question..I didn't reply.I was reading comments and replies.Guess I'm just sick of all the hate and blaming in the world today. Wish the energy amoung all ppl was good and not as it is in world today.

Teney / July 17, 2009 4:19 PM

At least you recognize that Iran can buy, and in fact bought, Airbuses. This is a fact.

A further consideration is that Iranian planes should be safe. It is important for passenger safety as well it is for populations of the countries, ever western ones, in the international paths used by iranian airlines. Therefore it's obvious that civilian aviation safeness is a common interest. Can't find any iranian company in the UE black list (companies which is prohibited the overflight accordin with Int. Org. Civ. Aviation); neither Caspian Airlines is in any black list altough has a considerable international activity ith his TU-154. According to the BBC, the Tu-154 has an average safety record for its length of service, and few accidents appear to have been due to technical failure (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/2081143.stm). I live near an international airport and I know TU-154 flyies over may head.

So what? I agree with you that sanctions impacting on civilian flight safeness are not right neither clever. In fact actually there aren't at all. Iran can buy Airbuses and however Tupolev are safe enough to be utilized all over the world. Obviously accidents does happen, ever for more advanced planes. That's all we can say. There is no company in the world that hasn't had an accident.

I think you want to debate about sanctions in general, but you choose the wrong case of a real accident, regardin an average affordable plane used by a lot of people in the world; accident that has nothing to do with sanctions, since Iran can buy and, it's better to repeat, in fact bought ever Airbuses.

Your article was a direct accuse to US for plane crash; this is why people like me disagree. The title: "Indiscriminate US Sanctions Resulted in Crash", and article statements - erroneous and/or false as see so far - like "any sale of aircraft or their parts to Iran was declared illegal" (not true), "A simple "IF" clause could have spared the lives of hundreds (not true); "something like: "Sale of passenger aircraft or parts for maintenance of such aircraft is exempt from sanction" (that is) and "My friend died en route to Erevan because under the US law, selling of new reliable aircraft to Iran is prohibited" (not true).

Concluding, generally speacking I share your point of view about sanctions wich should be mirate to hit governaments, instead of peoples. but you should suggest in wich way this is operable, since for decades in many situations has been serarched such a method without a real success. I think it's not so easy as say a gag like "block the visa to governament's member, where in most cases sanctions deemed essential to evitate situations to evolve in war scenarios.

Mikael / July 17, 2009 5:31 PM

at Teney

Sorry, I misunderstood. How can I disagree with you? Thank you.

Alone / July 17, 2009 6:33 PM

To author.

You say "If with our demonstrations we have shown the world a new face of Iran, maybe the world should smile back at this face and help to protect it from the tyrants who rule over this great nation.". Despite the apparence of this polemic debate, if we, you and us, are here to talk each ather, well, this is "that" smile.

Alone / July 17, 2009 6:46 PM

I agree that The US should not deny Iran from buying new arcraft for thier public airlines to provide better safety for the people of Iran. But it is and always has been the responsibility of the airlines and the government inspectors to ensure the safety of the planes before they allow people to board them and this is nothing to do with sanctions. If the plane is doubt of safety then don't put the plane in the air no matter how old or new the plane is. I am truly sorry to hear that a friend of yours was killed in the crash as no one deserves this fate. My anger would be directed at the airline itself and the gov't agency that certified the plane to fly then allowed people to board an unsafe craft. I understand how you feel in your time of greif but try not to let it cloud your judgemnt. I hope you heal from your pain.

Lyle / July 19, 2009 4:58 PM

As a U.S. citizen who wishes to have open relationships with the Iranian people and their government, I would very much like to see removal of sanctions. My many Iranian friends grieve over the difficulties caused, but they understand the stated reason for sanctions: that the U.S. government does not trust the present leaders of Iran, and has not trusted the Iranian leadership for some time.

That blame for this crash would be placed on sanctions, when the cause of the crash is not even known at all, illustrates how irrational and "knee-jerk" this placing of blame is.

Governments whose leaders speak of wiping other nations off the earth do not inspire confidence that they would use nuclear power wisely. A government which negotiates in good faith with all other nations would inspire greater confidence from the world community. A great step in that direction would be a government in Iran that has the whole-hearted support of the Iranian people.

Roger / July 20, 2009 12:08 PM

This article is ridiculous. The safety of all Iranian planes lies squarely in the Iranians lap. If they become unsafe and you can't reapir them...shelve them, recycle them...something.

And to chastise America for not allowing it's businesses to trade with a country that has often talked of the US' obliteration is a strawman arguement.

As a supporter of the Green movement by running several proxies here in the US, I still have to respond by saying: TAKE CARE OF YOUR F*&$ING PLANES SO YOUR PEOPLE DON'T DIE IN THEM! US isn't the only people in the world making planes. Howabout Iran's best buddy, Russia? Howabout taking a page out of China's a book and just start counterfeiting your own parts. It shouldn't be that hard for a country who is halfway done developing nukes.

Sean / July 22, 2009 1:05 PM

My dear friends,

THINK about what you are saying without such nonsense and emotion. I quote:

" [TEHRAN BUREAU] opinion: A Russian made Tupolov aircraft belonging to the Iranian airline Caspian. As grief overcomes me, I start searching for the guilty parties and one party stands out: the United States."

In a time of greef and mourning one must blame because ultimately we want to know why this trajedy happened....this is a normal reaction. My friends, it is not correct or just to blame the USA for the failure of the iranian men responsible for maintaining this plane to a safe level of operation. Do I persoanlly think the sanctions are wrong?...Yes and no, if the sanctions are directed at parts for the maintenance of iranian domestic airlines, Yes, This is a sanction that puts the people at risk but lets not be naive my friends. If I buy a lawnmover blade for its intended use, that is one matter. But, if I buy it and produce a weapon to itimidate my neighbor, it is a completely different matter. Lets use good commom sense here.

This is a Russian aircraft. Iran has a very good relationship with Russia. If Iran can get high-tech nuclear power plant components from Russia, surely they can manage or negociate a deal to get parts for a domestic aircraft.

My friends, Lets be fair in our assessments and thinking. If man made it it is subject to failure. Anything mechanical must be maintained regardless of who made it.

I have told you in other comments that I lived in IRAN for 3 years as a teenager and I have a very fond memory of the decency of the iranian people. They are a fair people. They are a good hearted people. Yes, I am an American but my mind is open to the people of iran because I know how they treated me as a young man. My heart reaches out to the people of iran. I see their struggle on many fronts. I hope and pray that they will except my apologies for the injustice they feel but realize that the power-struggles must end. At some point we must let go of the past ( I didn't say forget )and have the courage to take a small step forward.


joseph usa / July 24, 2009 12:16 PM

Hello my dear friends,

Please read the link below


Iran received at least $620,000 in aircraft parts and $19,600 worth of aircraft during Bush's terms. Iran relies on spare parts from other countries to keep its commercial and military aircraft flying. In some cases, U.S. sanctions allow shipments of aircraft parts for safety upgrades for Iran's commercial passenger jets.



joseph usa / July 27, 2009 4:23 PM

And then there's this possibility (I'm not ready to vouch for its truth--I've no idea--but it will be interesting to see if this report stands the test of time):

Report: Hizbullah Ammunition Blast Downed Iranian Jet Last Month


John / August 3, 2009 12:02 AM

So tragic, especially when it may have been prevented with better maintenance. All vehicles (and anything with mechanical parts) break down after a while. There comes a time when you have to scrap it and start over. So many planes really need to be replaced rather than just repaired. I would think the company would lose more money in lawsuits from killing people than it would cost to buy or make new planes.

Nausi / January 12, 2011 8:41 PM