Korea offers condolences to Iranian leader over deadly plane crash

Armenian President, PM offer condolences over Iran plane crash

Rescue teams have located the wreckage from an Iranian plane that crashed with 66 people on board on February 18 in Iran's central province, during the second day of searching.

"Five units started the search operation in the early hours of the morning, in -16 degrees", a local Red Crescent official was quoted as saying by IRNA news agency, reporting minus 16 degrees Celsius or 3.2 degrees Fahrenheit.

Aseman Airlines spokesman Mohammad Taghi Tabatabai said on state television that there were 59 passengers aboard of the Flight No. EP3704.

This means that helicopters and other non-fixed wing aircraft can not deliver rescue teams over to the crash site which is believed to be at the Zagros Mountains near Semirom City in the nearby province of Isfahan.

Inclement weather had hampered search parties, but the heavy snow and fog cleared early Tuesday, giving helicopter teams better visibility.

The crash site was located in Noghol village, almost 4,000 meters up Dena mountain.

The worldwide community grieved over the air crash. The deputy head of the Iranian Space Agency, Mojtaba SaradeghiIran said the government has asked for assistance from European countries and China in the search operation with their satellite imagery.

"The only possible way for finding a trace of the plane is the aerial search". However, it doesn't fly to Europe, as it was banned for safety concerns.

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An Iranian commercial plane crashed on Sunday in a foggy, mountainous region of southern Iran, killing all 66 people on board, state media reported.

Aseman was forced to ground many of its planes at the height of sanctions due to difficulties in obtaining spares, Taghvaee said. The airline has suffered other major crashes with fatalities.

The country has struggled to obtain spare parts to maintain its planes in the face of global sanctions imposed to curb its nuclear programme.

Iran has complained that sanctions imposed by the United States have jeopardised the safety of its airlines, making it hard to maintain and modernise ageing fleets.

However, Aseman Airliner's technician and training manager, Capt. Bahador Ashayeri, denied any technical problem with the missing ATR plane.

A few minutes later, Iran's Civil Aviation Organisation said it could not confirm the wreckage had been discovered.

Those sanctions have been mostly lifted under a 2015 deal between Iran and the United States alongside several other powers.

However, the sale could be scuppered if US President Donald Trump chooses to reimpose sanctions in the coming months, as he has threatened to do.

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