Tehran,Iran: Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) stated authorities carried out a hijacking attempt on a passenger plane in a flight on Thursday night without giving further details.
The alleged hijacking was aimed at an Iran Air Fokker 100 commercial aircraft en route from the southwestern city of Ahvaz to the northwestern city of Mashhad, and the Guard published on its website on Friday.
The IRGC statement did not name the hijacker, stating only the hijacker wanted to divert the flight to the “southern shore of the Persian Gulf.”
The description will include the countries Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, three countries that have interests with Iran.
The elite force said the Iran Air flight made an emergency landing in Isfahan’s central city and that no one was injured in the incident. It was not immediately clear whether the alleged hijacker was armed or faced criminal charges.
According to the aircraft tracking website FlightRadar24.com, a Fokker 100 would take off from Ahvaz to Mashhad on Thursday.
Iran Air has three aircraft in its fleet, each about 30 years old, as the country remains excluded from international aircraft sales due to sanctions.
According to Iranian domestic flights, armed air marshals are being transported from the Guard on board to disrupt attempts at attack or hijacking.
The Guard took over aeronautics security in the 1980s after a series of events in which Iranian opposition groups seized aircraft in the unrest that followed 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 tried to seize an Iran Air Fokker 100 and tried to get the flight to France.
He lit a fire on board and was later arrested, according to a report from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.
In November of the same year, gunmen seized a Yakovlev YAK-40 plane flown by Iranian Aria Tour Airlines and demanded to be flown to the United States before the Guard Marshals thwarted the attempt.