An IranAir passenger flight carrying 106 passengers crashed earlier today while attempting an emergency landing in the middle of a severe snowstorm outside the city of Orumiyeh in Western Azerbaijan.
Iranian media reported that 71 people onboard died and 35 survived with light to serious injuries.
The plane took off late owing to poor weather conditions on a direct flight from Tehran to Orumiyeh, 460 miles in a northwesterly direction.
The aircraft was an old Boeing 727, which has been out of production in the United States for more than a couple of decades.
Iranian airlines have frequent incidents of aircraft failure due to an aging fleet and poor maintenance. Many of the planes still in operation, especially the Boeings, were purchased before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Since then, US sanctions have made the replacement and upkeep of these planes difficult, and Iran has continued to fly them.
If it is determined that mechanical failure had a part to play in this tragedy, this is another example of the steep price ordinary Iranians have to pay for the political situation they find themselves in.
Follow Charlotte Safavi on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CharlotteSafavi