Iran thanks Russian emergencies ministry for help in locating plane crash site

Iran plane crash wreckage 'found on mountain'

The ATR aircraft with 66 passengers and crew on board went missing and due to bad weather conditions search for finding the wreckage of the plane continued for three days.

"With the wind intensifying, and with snow, rain and darkness, it is not possible for rescue and relief teams to reach high altitudes and the search operation has been postponed until tomorrow", broadcaster IRIB announced.

An Iranian plane Aseman Airlines ATR-72 crashed on Sunday reportedly killing all the 65 passengers aboard.

In this photo provided by Tasnim News Agency, family members of a plane crash victims weep in the village of Bideh, at the area that the plane crashed, southern Iran, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018.

The country has struggled to obtain spare parts to maintain its planes in the face of global sanctions imposed to curb its nuclear programme. "Unfortunately, all our dear ones lost their lives in this incident", said Tabatabai.

Aseman Airlines is a semi-private air carrier headquartered in Tehran that specialises in flights to remote airfields across the country. The aircraft was carrying 59 passengers, 2 flight crew, 2 cabin crew and two security staff.

Boeing, which is also building 80 planes for national carrier Iran Air, faces heavy criticism from United States lawmakers who say Iranian airlines have been used to ship weapons and troops to Syria and other conflict zones.

According to media in Iran, the aircraft had been in service for 25 years.

Until a few years ago, Iran was prevented from purchasing new air fleets due to the worldwide sanctions imposed on them. However, it doesn't fly to Europe, as it was banned for safety concerns.

Aseman now has a fleet of 36 planes - half of them 105-seat Dutch Fokker 100s.

"The Iranian authorities have expressed (their) gratitude to the emergencies ministry for spotting the scene where the ATR-72 crashed".

Pilot Hojatollah Fooled successfully landed a similar plane after an engine problem in 2013, the airline said in an Instagram post.

However, Western analysts are skeptical that there is demand for so many jets or available financing for deals worth billions of dollars.

However, US President Donald Trump's refusal to recertify the deal has injected uncertainty into those sales.

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