In the world of politics, the occasional delusion official is not out of the ordinary … however among delusional politicians in the wrong job, Hamid Behbahani, Iran’s Transport Minister, probably ranks in the top 1% of those delusional officials.
In the wake of a series of fatal plane crashes in Iran and a state airline in severe need or aircraft replacements at an expedited pace Behbahani has seemed indifferent to the transportation needs of his country. Following the crash of Iran Air 277, a Boeing 727-286/Adv, which left 77 dead and 26 other injured, on the 9th of January 2011, he remarked, “crashes are normal.”
Behbahani’s comment that “crashes are normal,” along with his inability to improve the roads in Iran, were the final straws in the eyes of the Iranian Parliament regarding Behbahani and his role as the Transport Minister.
While any Transport Minister will have severe hurdles to overcome in Iran, given the sanction against the country that make it challenging to purchase and maintain aircraft, and acquire other transportation infrastructure necessities, Behbahani has not been proactive and has been detrimental to the overall welfare of the airline industry, and transportation industry on the whole, in Iran.
While Iran Air is in the process of acquiring ‘new’ second hand Boeing aircraft, through channels that get around the sanctions in place, Behbahani has not been in the driving force in this process, leaving it to others.
If your wondering how despised Hamid Behbahani was among the Iranian Parliament … the vote this morning to impeach him was 147 to impeach to 87 to not impeach … with many of those voting not impeach being close political allies of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Years before Behbahani assumed the role of Transport Minister, he was President Ahmadinejad’s PhD Advisor at the Iran University of Science & Technology.
Hopefully Iran can find the right person to fill this vital job that spans the country’s infrastructure and commerce. Transportation and airlines in particular are critical aspects to any nation … and hopefully we can see Iran Air, and Iran’s other airlines, benefit from the removal of their previously inept Transport Minister.