The current head, Ali Abedzadeh, vehemently rejected the fact that military forces downed the Ukrainian commercial airliner flight PS752 back in January. According to the state-run Shargh daily, he has a fake certificate.
Abedzadeh is supposed to be replaced with his former colleague brigadier general Touraj Dehghani Zanganeh, the current CEO of the Islamic Republic (Homa) Airlines Company. It is worth noting that in May 2019, the U.S. Treasury Department blacklisted Zanganeh due to his involvement in terror activities. Now, with appointing Zanganeh, Iran’s aviation industry will be facing more restrictions.
Furthermore, according to several reports, given Abedzadeh’s involvement in financial corruption cases, the judiciary had filed his crimes and tried him in absentia. In an interview with the state-run Mehr news, an agency affiliated with the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), the judiciary spokesperson Gholamhossein Esmaili acknowledged that the final verdict had been issued for one of the offenders of “purchasing flight-check aircraft” case.
“The court has issued the verdict for one of these cases, and the verdict is final… This case and the issued verdict are in the executing stage,” Mehr quoted Esmaili as saying. However, he did not announce the name of the culprit.
Ambiguity in Forged Certificate of the Head of Aviation Organization
Following Shargh’s investigations, a source in the judiciary leaked that “final verdict” is related to Ali Abedzadeh, the current head of the National Aviation Organization. However, this verdict is not the whole story.
“Supervisors have discovered that the official’s bachelor’s and master’s degrees, which he obtained from the Philippines, were forged,” Shargh’s source added.
Surprisingly, there were skepticisms over Abedzadeh’s diploma’s accurate scores in 1974, and the Inspection Organization had looked into the issue. Abedzadeh claimed that he had succeeded in obtaining a bachelor’s degree in aircraft engineering from a Philippine university in two years alone. A year later, he won his master’s degree, which means he managed to get two academic certificates in only three years while he did not provide the precise grades of his diploma. Of course, this “genius” is not the first sample in this line.
Previously, this organization had rejected the judiciary’s investigation about the crash of Aseman airlines flight 3704 because the certificate of a judiciary investigator in the case was forged. Notably, Abedzadeh had worked in the Aseman airline company for two decades.
Also, during the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, his opponents revealed that the Interior Minister Ali Kordan has a fake honorary doctorate in law from the University of Oxford. Kordan had even written a specific book about law. Ironically, “Dr. Kordan” was frequently telling his memorial during the educational period in “London’s Oxford!”
Ironically, the Inspection Organization found flagrant spelling and grammar mistakes in his doctorate. Furthermore, not only did any of the Professors Rolls, Cowey, and Bryant not sign such a certificate, but they had no expertise in law and judicial sciences. However, thanks to the Kordan scandal, Urban dictionary added a new entry for the verb “Kordanize” in its glossary, meaning, “To get Ph.D. without having B.Sc./ To deceive a nation by telling them a big lie/ To become an important person (e.g. minster) by presenting fake certificates or documents/ To try to bribe someone in order to change his mind.”
Copy of Ali Kordan’s honorary doctorate in law with flagrant spelling and grammar mistakes
Additionally, in 2017, several scientists and universities revealed the current “reformist” President Hassan Rouhani had committed plagiarism. “Major segments of Chapter 4 of Rouhani’s thesis had been translated from his book without any reference to the original text or the name of the author,” said Ali Akbar Kalantari, a member of Assembly of Experts, at the time.
Receiving Salaries and Pensions from A Private Company During the Presidency
From 2016 to 2018, Abedzadeh also received a monthly salary from Mahan airlines, a private company affiliated with the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC), while he was the head of the National Aviation Organization. Given the supervising and leading role of the aviation organization, Abedzadeh’s membership in a private aviation company is a violation of the law.
More interesting, Abedzadeh’s background indicates that from 2012 to 2015, he had received salary and pensions from Aseman airline company, although he did not have any position in the company. These facts, of course, are the tip of the iceberg of 40 years of systematic corruption. Even government-linked journalists are asking, “What did the supervisory institutions do during these 40 years?”
There is another case related to the purchase of a Falcon 2000 aircraft. In this context, from 2006 to 2011, the then CEO of Aseman Airlines Ali Abedzadeh received $25 million from the National Aviation Organization to purchase a flight-check aircraft. Instead, he bought a Falcon 2000 aircraft without a flight-check panel, which is useless for inspection, according to a judicial official familiar with the case.
In another case, Abedzadeh provided an $11-million receipt for a King-Air 2000 aircraft with flight-check panels. However, according to Inspection Organization, the real cost of the aircraft was $2.5 million.
New Head of Iran’s National Aviation Organization
Evidence shows that the current chief of the Islamic Republic airlines (Homa), Brigadier General Touraj Dehghani Zanganeh, is supposed to replace Abedzadeh. Remarkably, Abedzadeh and Zanganeh were old colleagues in the Meraj airline company. At the time, Zanganeh was the managing director, and Abedzadeh was a member of the company’s managing board.
Moreover, due to Zanganeh’s involvement in terror activities, the U.S. Treasury Department had blacklisted him in May 2019. Therefore, he would not naturally remain in such a position that requires engagement with organizations and officials of other countries.
In his interview with IRNA news agency, Abedzadeh falsely explained the Ukrainian airliner was downed due to a technical defect
In his remarks, quoted by IRNA news agency on January 9, Abedzadeh “technically” rejected any likelihood that a missile had downed the Ukrainian airliner flight PS752. “It is technically impossible for the Ukrainian plane to explode due to a missile impact. The plane did not hit the ground nose-first. After taking off, the plane was thrown to another place, which indicates that the pilot noticed the fire on the plane and had tried to bring it to the ground,” Abedzadeh explained.
Two days later, the IRGC Aerospace commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh admitted that his forces targeted the plane and justified the crime under the excuse of “human error.” However, Abedzadeh has yet to withdraw his baseless reasons and explanations.