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Iranian dailies urge probe into tragic air crash

Tehran, Dec 10, IRNA-Two morning dailies on Saturday commented on last week's tragic crash of an Iran's Air Force C-130 plane calling for a transparent investigation to be launched to single out the parties responsible for the air tragedy.

"The aircraft that crashed into a block of flats near Mehrabad killing a total of 108 people on board and on the ground was a C-130 Hercules in the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) service" which was purchased upon the Mutual Assistance Program (MAP) agreement between the former regime of Shah and the US, wrote 'Kayhan International'.

Noting that C-130 aircraft has proven its worth over the years as a reliable, efficient and easy to maintain workhorse for many states around the world, it argued that the case was not true for Iran.

The article further stressed being "outnumbered, outgunned and starved of spare parts through unjust US sanctions," the IRIAF managed to maintain the upper hand in the air against Saddam's air force during the 1980-88 imposed war against Iran.

"It is time the fighting and back up personnel of Iran's regular armed forces received the equipment they needed to protect our borders so our children could sleep soundly at night," it stressed.

The editorial further urged the Iranian government to "act with urgency ... to seek alternative sources of new hardware, not only for the IRIAF but also for all other Iran's regular armed services." Stressing the need for launching a "transparent investigation" to single out the parties responsible for the air tragedy, the daily also warned that while doing so the officials "Must also take care not to turn this into a witch hunt."

Meanwhile, another English-language paper emphasized that "A fair and thorough investigation" is what is mostly needed at this time.

'Iran News' stressed that all the facts should be known "before anyone is accused or indicted."

Emphasizing that Iran's media community was hardly hit by the crash as it lost 74 journalists, it stressed that the media is not likely to soon forget about this story.

Noting that the parliamentary speaker and the minister of culture have already confirmed that an investigation will soon be launched, the article stressed that Iran's armed forces "Is duty bound to disclose all the facts on this human tragedy, in order to set the record straight and remove any doubt among the people."

... Payvand News - 12/10/05 ... --

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