NewsSpecial WireIran says U.S., Britain behind military plane crashes

Iran says U.S., Britain behind military plane crashes

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Jan. 28 – Iran accused the United States and Britain on Saturday of being responsible for two military plane crashes in December and January that left several senior commanders of the Islamic Republic’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps dead. Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Jan. 28 – Iran accused the United States and Britain on Saturday of being responsible for two military plane crashes in December and January that left several senior commanders of the Islamic Republic’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps dead.

The state-run daily Iran quoted Interior Minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi as saying that the crashes had most likely been the result of electronic jamming carried out by enemy intelligence agents.

“Given all intelligence information that we have gathered, we can say that agents of the United States, Britain, and Israel are seeking to destabilise Iran through a coordinated plan”, Pour-Mohammadi said.

“We knew that enemies had launched fresh efforts to make the country insecure”, the radical Shiite cleric who was previously the number two in Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security, said.

“Our enemies have targeted our nation and those who are in charge of maintaining the country’s security”, he said, adding that their “wicked plans” were “doomed to fail and this will bring nothing to them but misery”.

On January 9, a dozen senior commanders of the IRGC died in a plane crash in northwest Iran. The Falcon jet belonging to the IRGC crashed 13 kilometres southeast of Lake Orumieh, killing all 15 passengers on board including Brigadier General Ahmad Kazemi, commander of the IRGC Ground Forces and a rising star in Iran’s radical Islamist military.

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”.

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 came 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 hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud 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.

On December 6, another military aircraft, a C-130 cargo plane, crashed in southern Tehran killing more than 100 people on board.

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