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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 December 2005, 16:29 GMT
Iran minister faces impeachment
Rescuers in burning building
The military plane crashed into an apartment block in Tehran
The speaker of the Iranian parliament has accepted a motion to impeach the defence minister over the crash of a military plane in Tehran last week.

Forty-nine MPs signed a motion on Monday calling for Mostafa Mohammad Najjar to be questioned over the crash and subjected to a vote of confidence.

The motion blames mismanagement for the crash in which more than 100 died.

Military officials have strongly denied any suggestion of negligence and have launched an investigation.

But Iran's media have criticised the military for the lack of adequate safety checks.


The motion for impeachment presented by the Majlis majority faction raised the following questions:

  • On what basis was a military plane used for public transport and who gave permission for tickets to be sold to passengers?

  • Why was the plane allowed to fly without establishing whether technical problems reported earlier had been solved?

  • Why was the plane not allowed to land at Mehrabad airport while three of its engines were still working?

  • Why was take-off delayed for five hours?

  • How much was the excess weight of the plane and where was its centre of gravity?

  • Why did the military operations base not give the necessary instructions to the pilot after one engine caught fire?

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has promised to get to the bottom of the disaster.

The impeachment motion is yet another set-back for the president from a parliament that only approved his choice for oil minister after three months of political deadlock.

However, it is not clear how much support the motion will have when it comes up for vote.

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