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Wreckage of crashed Iranian plane found in Isfahan

Iranian rescue teams find site, wreckage from plane crash

'Even newer versions of this aircraft are not good for such cold places and it would be better not to use it for this route and especially with such bad weather and visibility, he said. Both Russia and France have provided satellite images but nothing has yet been found in them, the Civil Aviation Organisation told IRIB.

"They are equipped to carry bodies on snow".

Search teams will continue to the site on foot as the helicopter was unable to land on the mountain, a spokesman said.

The search has been focused on the 14,465-foot Dena mountain, which is popular with Iranians training for climbs in the Himalayas.

"Last night, a number of people stayed on the mountain and through coordination with local guides managed to search all crevices", Mansour Shishefuroosh, head of a regional crisis center, told the ISNA news agency.

The ATR-72 flight operated by the Aseman Airlines crashed on Sunday morning 50 minutes after taking off from Tehran's Mehrabad Airport, and did not make it to Yasuj, a mountainous city in western Iran.

Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) official had earlier said that after improvement in the weather in the region, 80 search teams were conducting an operation at Mount Dena in the Zagros mountain range.

The incident has reawakened concerns over aviation safety in Iran, which has been exacerbated by worldwide sanctions over the years. It specializes in flights to remote airfields across the country but also flies internationally, although it is banned in the European Union over safety concerns.

Iran has complained that sanctions imposed by the United States have jeopardised the safety of its airlines and made it hard to maintain and modernise ageing fleets.

The country has struggled to obtain spare parts to maintain its planes in the face of global sanctions imposed to curb its nuclear programme.

In a working paper presented to the United Nations' International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 2013, Iran said U.S. sanctions were blocking "the acquisition of parts, services and support essential to aviation safety".

Iran has suffered several plane crashes in the past few decades and has blamed USA sanctions for preventing it from importing new aircraft or spare parts.

But figures from the Flight Safety Foundation, a US-based NGO, suggest Iran is nonetheless above-average in implementing ICAO safety standards.

A deal with world powers on Iran's nuclear program has lifted some of those sanctions, opening the way for Iranian airlines to update their fleets, but many older planes are still in service, particularly on domestic routes.

However, US President Donald Trump's refusal to recertify the deal has injected uncertainty into those sales.