IIRGC Jet Hit Village, No Survivors On Board
An Iranian Islamic
Revolutionary Guard Corps Dassault Falcon Jet slammed into a rural
village in West Azerbaijan province, near the city of Orumiyeh, on
Monday. As was reported in Aero-News,
all aboard the aircraft were killed on impact -- including a crew
of three, several senior officers of the IRGC, and the officers'
aides. Initial reports said that thirteen died in the crash, but
later reports indicated that only eleven were on the plane.
Iranian news sources are counting Ahmad Kazemi, IRGC Ground
Forces commander, among the dead.
The following list of eleven dead was published in the official
- Major General Ahmad Kazemi, commander of IRGC Ground
- Brigadier General Saeed Mohtadi Jafari, commander of Rasulollah
Division 27 of the IRGC;
- Brigadier General Saeed Soleimani, deputy commander for
operational affairs of the IRGC Ground Forces;
- Brigadier General Nabiollah Shahmoradi, deputy commander for
intelligence affairs of the IRGC Ground Forces;
- Brigadier General Abbas Karbandi-Mojarad, commander of the Qadr
Air Base of the IRGC Air Force (the plane's pilot);
- Brigadier General Gholam-Reza Yazdani, commander of the IRGC
Ground Forces Artillery Unit;
- Brigadier General Safdar Reshadi, deputy commander for planning
of the IRGC Ground Forces;
- Brigadier General Ahmad Elhaminejad, commandant of the IRGC Air
Force Academy (the plane�s copilot);
- Brigadier General Hamid Azinpur, the commander of the IRGC
Ground Forces Command Office;
- Colonel Morteza Basiri, flight engineer;
- Mohsen Asadi, bodyguard of the IRGC Ground Forces
As the accident appears to have been controlled flight into
terrain in instrument meteorological conditions, the currency,
recency and skill level of the two very senior officers flying
might be called into question, but in Iran, it's unlikely that
senior IRGC officers will be subjected to such scrutiny.
The black-shirted IRGC or Pasdaran is consciously modeled on the
Nazi SS, much admired in the Iranian government; members are
selected for their loyalty to the theocracy. They report to no one
in the Government, only directly to "Supreme Leader" Ayatollah
The IRGC is also the
power base of current Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Ahmadinejad was formerly a member of the IRGC's externally-oriented
"Qods Force," which carries out operations outside of Iran.
Some IRGC units are essentially a corps d'elite paralleling the
conventional Iranian Army, Navy and Air Force; and other elements
act as commissars, enforcing Iranian orthodoxy on the larger, draft
Some of the officers who perished in the crash have only been in
their current positions for a few months, according to
IranFocus.com. Kazemi, the senior officer killed, was formerly the
IRGC Air Force commander, but was "kicked downstairs" last August
due to Ayatollah's Khamenei's dissatisfaction with his
progress on development of long-range missiles.
While conspiracy theories spread across Iran rapidly, the
weather conditions where the plane crashed included a very low
ceiling and blowing snow.
On December 6 an IRGC C-130 crashed into an apartment building
after losing an engine, apparently a result of poor maintenance
compounded by pilot error. While Ahmadinejad blamed that accident
on the US weapons embargo in place since 1979, this accident
involves a French airplane, and France does not participate in the