ROXANA SUBERI reporting:
We still don't know much more about what caused this, except that the pilot had radioed in, saying that he had technical problems, and when he tried to return to the Tehran Airport that he crashed just south of it in an area called Yaftabad. And the airplane was a C-130 plane, which was from the shah's time, before the Islamic Revolution of 1979 here in Iran. And I was talking to somebody who's with the army here, and he was telling me that these planes--it has been very difficult for the Iranian government to update these planes and get spare parts because of sanctions that are in place.
That from Dec. 6's Morning Edition. Wonder how hard they beat the bushes to come up with the anti-America angle? Did they pass up quoting someone who might have groused that the mullahs never just bought some Ilyushins from Russia? Or that the mullahs' sponsorship of international terrorism has kept those sanctions in place lo these many years? (Okay, that last one would probably have to wait for the in-depth backgrounder.) Or did they go forth in search of their pre-formulated zinger? Possibly without even realizing they were doing it, so pavlovian is their bias?
Look. Any islamofascist government that can build a nuclear bomb and acquire delivery systems for it, as the mullahs are a whisker away from doing, can surely pick up some C-130 parts on the international black market. If they had the common human (read: Western) decency to care enough about the lives of their own citizens to do so, that is. Here as with so much of their Middle Eastern coverage, NPR holds the tyrants blameless and the U.S. culpable. Disgusting...
UPDATE: The Canadian Globe and Mail goes into more depth with the maintenance issue.