Monday, September 18, 2006

BBC blames US for Iranian Air Crashes - Again

A recent BBC online article about the crash of a Russian-built plane in Iran included a disgraceful attempt by the BBC’s Tehran correspondent Frances Harrison to blame the accident on US sanctions. After bloggers such as myself drew attention to this, the offending section was quietly removed by the BBC (see before and after screen caps here). Harrison obviously took offence because she's been at it again, this time on the World Service’s Newshour.

This seems to be part of a wider drive by the BBC to undermine any talk of action, sanctions or otherwise, against Iran. Here’s Harrison’s BBC colleague Julian Marshall introducing her report:
Washington talks about smart sanctions which target the government and not the Iranian people, but Iran has already been under American sanctions for three decades and every year Iranian civilians die as an indirect result. Current US sanctions prevent Iran buying new planes or spare parts for their ageing fleet. Since 2000 there have been 9 plane crashes killing nearly 700 people.
Well, here are all the Iranian plane crashes since 2000 that I could find on I make it 11 (not 9) if one includes the Ukrainian plane crash in December 2002, which the BBC usually does:

February 02, 2000 Lockheed C-130 Hercules. Military training. 8 dead.

May 17, 2001 Yakovlev YAK-40 Faraz Qeshm Airlines. 30 dead.
The aircraft crashed into mountains about 12 miles south of Sari, 55 minutes after taking off from Tehran on a flight to Gorgan. Shortly before the tower lost contact with the plane the pilot reported bad weather and said he was thinking of returning to Tehran.

February 12, 2002 Tupolev TU-154 Iran Air Tours. 117 dead.
Crashed against the side of a mountain in heavy fog in the Sefid Kouh mountain range while on approach to Khorramabad. The plane was totally destroyed and scattered in small pieces across the mountain. Pilot error.

December 23, 2002 Antonov AN-140 Aeromist-Kharkiv (Ukrainian) 44 dead (46 according to the BBC)
The Ukrainian passenger plane, crashed in a mountainous area 70 km from Isfanan, after losing contact with ground controllers as it prepared to land. Improper use of the Global Positioning System by the pilot.

February 19, 2003 Ilyushin Il-76MD. Military. 275 dead (BBC = 302)
The plane crashed into an 11,500 ft. mountain in poor weather, about 20 miles from its destination of Kerman.

June 25, 2003 Lockheed C-130 Hercules. Military. 7 dead.
Nose dived into the ground shortly after takeoff near the Shur River.

February 10, 2004 Fokker F-50. Kish Airlines. 43 dead.
The aircraft crashed on approach, 2 miles short of the runway while attempting an emergency landing at Sharjah. The plane crashed midway between two residential compounds. The flight data recorder showed that the two engines went into reverse 10 seconds before the accident.

April 20, 2005 Boeing B-707-3J9C Saha Airline Services. 3 dead.
Soon after experiencing a hard landing an engine began burning while the aircraft was taxiing. The plane then skidded off the runway and fell into the Kan River. One passengers' infant fell into the river and drowned while exiting the aircraft.

December 06, 2005 Lockheed C-130B Hercules. Military. 94 dead (68 journalists), plus 14 civilians dead on the ground.
The military plane crashed into an apartment building in the Azari district after taking off from Mehrabad Airport. The plane suffered engine failure and was attempting to return for a emergency landing.

January 09, 2006 Dassault Falcon 20. Military. 11 dead.
After a flyby to check on a stuck landing gear, the plane suffered a double engine flame-out and crashed into a field in poor weather conditions.

September 01, 2006 Tupolev Tu-154M. Iran Air Tours. 29 dead.
The plane's left wing may have come into contact with the ground causing the plane to skid off the runway and catch fire.

Julian Marshall gave the clear impression that since the year 2000 nearly 700 Iranian civilians have died in air crashes as a result of American sanctions. I have identified 11 crashes with a wide variety of causes resulting in 675 deaths. Of these accidents, five were in American-built planes, and only one of those was a civilian flight in which just 3 civilians died, including a child who fell in a river exiting the plane. Nearly all the deaths involving US-built aircraft were crashes of military planes. Some civilians died in these accidents, but America is under no obligation to aid the armed forces of a terror-supporting state, regardless of what the BBC thinks. Of the other crashes, one involved a European-built Fokker, the parts for which are now manufactured by a Dutch company, and the rest were Russian-built aircraft.

If oil-rich Iran can't sort out its own aircraft, civilian and military, that's its fault alone. Blaming US sanctions is cheap anti-American propaganda. And it's bullshit, too.

[I can't be bothered to fisk Frances Harrison’s actual report. The opening line should tell you all you need to know:
“If you want to see the cost of sanctions, it’s in Tehran’s main cemetery that you have to look…”]


Blogger Charles Martel said...

In contrast to the braindead dumbed-down BBC , of which the Iranian embargo piece you point out is a prime example, here's some brainfood to grab a beer to, pull up a chair, and delve into.

It's grown up stuff - with attributes like solid analysis, strategical evaluation, and hard debate:

Cato Unbound 9/11 - 5 years after, Reassessing the terrorist threat and homeland security

one lead essay and 3 reaction essays. enjoy.

9:15 pm  
Anonymous Clematis Fraudster said...

What an excellent piece of analysis. I can only guess that is run by Zionists and the CIA.

Having heard a BBC interviewer earnestly suggest that the Pope supports George Bush's war on terror, I am fast coming to the conclusion that the BBC is full of fucking lunatics.

(Excuse my French)

12:32 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Should take some of that nuclear reprocessing piggy bank cash and buy a few aircraft spares on ebay ...

1:07 am  
Anonymous Tom Paine said...

How has the BBC been subverted? Does the pressure to do this come from the government, or has the Corporation acquired a political life of its own? It seems absolutely clear to me that BBC news is biased, not merely against any given political party in Britain, but against Western civilisation itself, but I struggle to understand how it has happened or why it continues.

Congratulations on the good work you are doing here.

5:43 am  
Anonymous Debbie said...

Yea, everything is the US and Israel's fault. I heard, but cannot prove, that some of the photos and video Iran put forth during their recent war games, was both old and/or not even theirs. Frauds.

5:46 am  
Blogger Rastaman said...

Nice piece of research there. Well done, that lays another BBC fabrication to rest. The problem, though, is that with the BBC it will never end, which is why I never read anything the BBC has to say anymore. It's all slanted lies and constantly exposing them as they roll off the press can become a full-time job.
I suppose it's necessary simply because of all the people who still believe their lies, but I think the real solution to this is to put the BNP in power since the BBC is the mouthpiece of the government.


6:19 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

US sanctions also prevent parts being sold for all EU built aircraft so you can tot up all those ones too. It's well known that ILSA is responsible for the Iranians struggle with safe civil avialtion, even the US administration recognises this. What's so "biased" about the BBC pointing it out ? As usual, your research only tells the side of the story that suits you.

12:07 pm  
Blogger DFH said...

Anonymous 12.07pm - Try reading what I've actually written about deaths involved on military and civilian flights. And also read this bit : "Of the other crashes, one involved a European-built Fokker".

There have been other Fokker 50 crashes since 2000. Jan 17, 2003 - Spainish Air Nostrum Fokker 50 crashed at Melilia airport. Nov 6 2003 - Luxair Fokker 50 crashed in Luxembourg. As I've just asked in the comments at Biased BBC - is the US to blame for those Fokkers, too?

1:30 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll keep it fairly short and simple. Do you accept that US sanctions (ILSA) have had an adverse effect on Iranian civil aviation, and as a corollary, the safety record thereof ? If not - then it follows that you must think the US sanctions are pointless. The administration think they aren't, so you must disagree. That is the central thurst of the BBC comment.

3:04 pm  
Anonymous Clematis Fraudster said...

I'll keep it fairly short and simple. Do you accept that US sanctions (ILSA) have had an adverse effect on Iranian civil aviation, and as a corollary, the safety record thereof ? If not - then it follows that you must think the US sanctions are pointless. The administration think they aren't, so you must disagree.

"That is the central thurst of the BBC comment."

No it's bloody not!

Julian Marshall (BBC): "Current US sanctions prevent Iran buying new planes or spare parts for their ageing fleet. Since 2000 there have been 9 plane crashes killing nearly 700 people."

Frances Harrison (BBC): “If you want to see the cost of sanctions, it’s in Tehran’s main cemetery that you have to look…”]

Come on, anonymous: this is taking the piss.

What we think of sanctions is not the issue here. Harrison, through two reports, has indicated quite clearly that US sanctions are partly responsible for recent air disasters in Iran. If she thinks the US sanctions are futile why mention them in different reports on Iran's air-safety record?

This is called having one's cake and eating it: blame US sanctions for fatal air-crashes and when it is shown that these sanctions played little or no part in these tragedies, claim this is 'proof' that US sanctions don't work because Iran is buying plane parts from elsewhere?

If that is meant to be the "central thrust" of the BBC's report, then it suggests the corporation is even more biased than DfH suggests.

4:41 pm  
Blogger DFH said...

I too will keep it short and simple. The sanctions aren’t in place to make life easier for Iran, but that doesn’t mean the US is to blame for Iran’s safety record. If Iran has a problem with its planes then Iran should find a solution - it’s a big grown-up country now. What it should not do is allow unsafe planes to fly. As it happens, those planes in the civil fleet which are affected by sanctions seem to be fairing rather well, but that’s not the impression the BBC gives.

5:35 pm  
Blogger Wilbur Post said...

This is the same Iran that has spent billions of dollars arming its proxy Hizbullah to the teeth in Lebanon in order for it to commit war crimes against Israel and hold the Lebanese people hostage to its whims.

Imagine if the billions spent would have been used to help educate the poor Shia of Lebanon and to raise their living standards?

Imagine if the billions were spent on Iran's own people and if but a fraction of those billions had been spent on improving air safety standards in their own country?

I guess if that happened then people like Frances Harrison wouldn't have any bad news to report and might be out of a job.

9:35 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going to agree with you here that the BBC should not be making general statements about the causes of Iranian civil avilation safety failures. That is bad journalism when they provide no data to back it up, I have no problem with that and don't want to get into an argument about the merits of sanctions. It isn't however, nonsense, to hypothesise that the sanctions have had a major effect on the Iranians ability to upgrdade and maintain their fleet, this is the point of the sanctions. If the US felt that Iran would merely get everything they needed elsewhere or natively (because they are a "grown up country") then it would be entirely pointless imposing sanctions. In fact they have ordered new russian tuplovs for their civl fleet. They also trierd to order new Airbus aircraft too, but fell foul of the sanctions so again there is a reasonable amount of evidence to support the BBC's claim.

11:44 am  
Anonymous Runescape Gold said...

Precisely how has got the BBC been recently subverted? Does the stress to achieve this range from govt, as well as gets the Corporation purchased a governmental life of its own? It appears definitely clear to me in which BBC reports will be one-sided, not merely against any political get together in great britain, however versus Traditional western civilisation by itself, on the other hand find it difficult to understand how it provides transpired or perhaps precisely why the idea carries on.

6:56 am  

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