For the fourth time in the past year, an Iranian airliner crashed.
This time, it was an An-74, a 19 ton, twin engine military transport made in
Russia. Last September, a Russian made Tu-154 went down, last January a Falcon
20 crashed, and last December, a U.S. built C-130 was lost. Poor management and
bad politics (which have produced trade sanctions and a shortage of aircraft
replacement parts) have led to a bad maintenance, and an increasingly dismal
safety situation. Losing nearly two percent of your heavy transports in one
year is an incredibly bad record. Thirty years ago, Iranian civil aviation was
one of the safest in the world. The clerics running the country as a religious
dictatorship, blame the aviation disasters on the United States and Israel.
Secret agents and all that. Some people believe it.