Iranian Revolutionary Guards say hijack attempt foiled | News from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
The elite force claims that the Iran Air Fokker 100 domestic flight from Ahvaz town to Mashhad was the target of a hijack attempt.
Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said authorities foiled an attempted hijacking of a passenger plane on a flight Thursday evening, without giving further details.
The alleged hijacking targeted an Iran Air Fokker 100 regional commercial aircraft heading from the southwest city of Ahvaz to the northwest city of Mashhad, the Guard posted on its website on Friday.
The IRGC announcement did not identify the hijacker, claiming that only the hijacker was seeking to divert the flight to “the southern shores of the Persian Gulf.”
This description would include the countries of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, three countries that have strained relations with Iran.
The elite force said the Iran Air flight made an emergency landing in the central city of Isfahan and no one was injured in the incident. It was not immediately clear if the alleged hijacker was armed or if he was facing previous criminal charges.
A Fokker 100 was scheduled to take off from Ahvaz for Mashhad on Thursday, according to plane tracking website FlightRadar24.com.
Iran Air has three of the planes in its fleet, each around 30 years old, with the country still being barred from international sales of planes due to sanctions.
Iranian domestic flights have reportedly embarked armed Guards Air Marshals to stop any attempted attack or hijacking.
The Guard resumed air security in the 1980s after a series of incidents involving Iranian opposition groups seizing planes in the unrest following the 1979 Islamic Revolution in the country.
The last two such attempts took place in 2000. In September 2000, a man armed with a fake pistol and a petrol bomb sought to seize an Iran Air Fokker 100, trying to obtain the flight to France.
He started a fire on board and was later arrested, according to a report by the United States Federal Aviation Administration.
In November of the same year, gunmen seized a Yakovlev YAK-40 plane piloted by Iranian Aria Tour Airlines, demanding to be transported to the United States before the Guard Air Marshals thwarted the attempt.