Bomb Forces Iranian Passenger Jet Back to Airport

Minutes After Takeoff, Homemade Bomb Found in Toilet

The third significant security issue in the past few days in the nation, a passenger jet was forced to return to an airport in the Iranian city of Ahvaz (not far from the Iraqi city of Basra) after a homemade bomb was found in a toilet just minutes after takeoff.

The plane was carrying 140 passengers to the capital city of Tehran. Officials said they could not rule out a connection between the incident and a pair of attacks in the city of Zahedan late last week, saying that the nation’s enemies are trying to effect the outcome of the nation’s upcoming presidential election.

A Thursday attack on a Shi’ite mosque in Zahedan, a mostly Sunni city near the Pakistani border, killed at least 30 and wounded 60 others. The Jundallah organization took credit for that attack. Only a day later, gunmen attacked a campaign office for President Ahmadinejad.

While Zahedan has a long history of Baloch separatism, Ahvaz has a separatist movement of its own among its its Arab minority. The city saw a string of bombings in 2005-06 which was tied to unrest in neighboring Iraq.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.