Tel Aviv: Explosives En Route To Hizbullah Caused Deadly Iran Plane

by Yehudah Lev Kay
Aug 2 2009

( Explosives en route to the Hizbullah terrorist group
caused a Russian-made plane to crash in Iran two weeks ago, claiming
the lives of 168 people, according to a report in the Italian paper
Corriere Della Sera on Saturday.

The report quoted Middle East sources who said the plane, which took
off from Tehran and was headed for Armenia, was carrying in its luggage
compartment several metal cases with two kilograms of explosives and
detonators destined for the Lebanese terrorist group. The shipment
was meant to have continued by land from Armenia to Turkey, then to
Syria, and finally to Lebanon.

Only 16 minutes after takeoff, the pilot of the Tupolev jet reported
an emergency. Shortly afterwards, the plane crashed near the city of
Qazvin. Eyewitnesses reported hearing explosions in the plane before
it crashed into the ground.

The Italian paper also said that a member of the elite Iranian
Revolutionary Guards was on board the plane to monitor the delivery
of the goods to Hizbullah and that Iranian security forces arrived
at the plane crash site. Iranian authorities have said that they
recovered the plane’s three black boxes but have not yet offered an
explanation for the fatal crash.

The report also said that the explosives were meant to be concealed in
southern Lebanon, but after an explosion in a Hizbullah weapons depot
only a few days before the flight, the terrorist group decided they
would be safer north of the Litani river. Tensions rose in southern
Lebanon between Hizbullah and UNIFIL forces following the July 14th
blast which reportedly destroyed a Hizbullah weapons cache, including
numerous Katushya rockets.