In 1984, an Armed Iranian F-4E Phantom II Defected to Iraq

In 1984, an Armed Iranian F-4E Phantom II Defected to Iraq

By Dario Leone
Jan 6 2020
Share this article

The F-4E was subsequently parked inside one of Tallil hangars and left there: US troops destroyed it in 1991. Wreckage was ‘re-discovered’ again by US troops in 2003.

The vintage footage in this post features the Armed Iranian F-4E Phantom II that defected to Iraq in 1984.

On Aug. 27 of that year in fact, Major Rahman Ghanat Pishnee of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) defected with his F-4E from Bushehr AB to Ali Ibn Abu Talib AB (known as ‘Tallil’ in the West), in southern Iraq.

According to The Aviation Geek Club contributor Tom Cooper, this F-4E was subsequently parked inside one of hangars and left there: US troops destroyed it in 1991. Wreckage was ‘re-discovered’ again by US troops in 2003. Serial was 3-6552.

‘An Iranian warplane landed in one of Iraq’s military airfields today,’ Iraqi News Agency (INA) said at that time, quoting a military communique monitored in Beirut.

‘Its pilot and co-pilot asked for political asylum and both are now being treated as guests of Iraq,’ INA said. ‘The two men said they were escaping the persecution of the Iranian regime.’

The F-4E fighter bomber was delivered to Iran by the U.S. government before the 1979 Islamic revolution deposed the shah.

At the time of revolution, the country was believed to have at least 99 Phantoms. Several of them were then lost during the war with Iraq and others have broken down because of a lack of spare parts.

The defection came two days after an Iranian Airbus jetliner with 206 Iranians aboard was hijacked to Baghdad.

Iraq said an Iranian couple hijacked the plane to escape persecution by the Islamic government of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The air pirates, who pretended to have explosives to hijack the plane, were granted asylum by the Iraqi government.

The freed passengers and crew were told they could stay in Iraq, return to Iran or continue to a country of their choice.

Photo credit: Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force

Share this article

Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share this article

Share this article
Share this article

Always up to date! News and offers delivered directly to you!

Get the best aviation news, stories and features from The Aviation Geek Club in our newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox.

Error: Contact form not found.

Share this article
Back to top
My Agile Privacy
This website uses technical and profiling cookies. Clicking on "Accept" authorises all profiling cookies. Clicking on "Refuse" or the X will refuse all profiling cookies. By clicking on "Customise" you can select which profiling cookies to activate. In addition, this site installs Google Analytics in version 4 (GA4) with anonymous data transmission via proxy. By giving your consent, the data will be sent anonymously, thus protecting your privacy. We and our selected ad partners can store and/or access information on your device, such as cookies, unique identifiers, browsing data. You can always choose the specific purposes related to profiling by accessing the advertising preferences panel, and you can always withdraw your consent at any time by clicking on "Manage consent" at the bottom of the page.

List of some possible advertising permissions:

You can consult: our list of advertising partners, the Cookie Policy and the Privacy Policy.
Warning: some page functionalities could not work due to your privacy choices