An Iranian ATR 72-600 passenger plane operated by Aseman Airlines and bound for the Iranian city of Yasuj disappeared from radars 50 minutes after taking off from Teheran on Sunday morning.
As night approached, bad weather prevented helicopters searching the probable crash site but emergency workers were scouring the mountainous area by land, the television said.
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The plane was travelling from Tehran to the southern city of Yasuj in Isfahan province when it came down in the Zagros mountains.
One of Iran's worst air accidents happened in February 2003 when an Iranian Ilyushin-76 troop carrier crashed in southeast Iran, killing all 276 Revolutionary Guard soldiers and crew.
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Back in October, the airlines mentioned the recently crashed plane, saying that though it had been "grounded" for seven years, and that it was being repaired and that it was to be operational.
Aseman was forced to ground many of its planes at the height of sanctions due to difficulties in obtaining spares, Taghvaee said.
The authorities had called off the rescue effort overnight as heavy snow and rain made it impossible to work.
"Given the fact that the area is mountainous, it is not possible to send ambulances", he said.
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The Aseman Airlines ATR-72, a twin-engine turboprop used for short-distance regional flying, went down on Sunday in foggy weather.
Why has Iran suffered so many air crashes?
The U.S. Treasury Department removed a final hurdle for western aircraft manufacturers to sell planes to Iran in September 2016, as it granted Airbus and Boeing the necessary licenses to deliver planes to Tehran.
A video on Tasnim news agency showed an angry man shouting at Iran's Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi: "Would you have flown on the same plane?"
Relatives of Iranian passengers, onboard the Aseman Airlines flight EP3704, in a helpless wait, now entering the third day since the crash.
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