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The World : 2 Iran Pilots Defect to Iraq

September 01, 1986

Two Iranian pilots have defected to Iraq with their U.S.-made F-14 jet fighter, an Iraqi military spokesman said in Baghdad. The spokesman, quoted on Baghdad radio, said the plane's defecting pilot and co-pilot were a major and a captain. Last week, Iran's Speaker of Parliament, Hashemi Rafsanjani, said his country's air force had 74 or 75 of the sophisticated F-14s, but Western military analysts estimate that no more than a dozen remain operational. Earlier this month, Iraq said an Iranian pilot defected by flying a civilian aircraft to Baghdad, bringing two relatives with him.

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