Senior Iranian officials honored the genius pilot of an Iran Air airliner who managed to land a Boeing 727 carrying 94 passengers and 19 crew safely at an Iranian airport in mid October despite the front wheels failing to drop into position for the landing. Iran\'s Minster of Transportation and Housing Ali Nikzad thanked and praised Iranian pilot Houshang Shahbazi for safely landing his malfunctioning plane. \"Captain Shahbazi and his crew landed the plane safely with their faith in God and exceptional skills,\" Ali Nikzad told press tv. \"Fortunately no one was hurt and this shows the expertise and capabilities of our pilots,\" he added, saying that more than 100 Iranian and Russian passengers were onboard Shahbazi\'s plane. An Iran Air pilot said the problem was caused when a plastic got stuck in the pressure line and made it impossible to free the nose wheel even manually. Enemies of the Islamic Republic have mistaken humane and commercial problems with political and military issues, and have sanctioned IranAir airline, said Nikzad. The Iran Air Boeing 727, with 94 passengers and 19 crew members was landed without its front landing gear at Tehran Mehrabad Airport on October 18, 2011. The incident took place as the plane was landing after a flight from Moscow. The rear landing gear had opened on the state-owned IranAir plane in preparation for landing at the Tehran airport, but a technical problem meant that the front wheels failed to deploy. The pilot managed to keep the front of the aircraft off the ground while bringing the plane down. No injuries were reported and emergency services were on standby at the airport as the plane landed. International sanctions against Iran have prevented the government accessing certain parts for the maintenance of its western airliners.