Tehran backs down and admits army shot down Ukrainian plane

On January 8, a Boeing 737-800 crashed shortly after taking off from the capital's airport.  The crash took place during the final hours of a missile attack by the Iranian Armed Forces against US targets in Iraq.  Rouhani: "We deeply regret the disastrous mistake."

 

 


Tehran (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Iran admits that it shot down a Ukrainian plane by mistake, killing all 176 passengers on board.  This morning the ayatollah regime expressed deep regret, but at first, it had denied any responsibility for the tragedy. 

The plane crash occurred three days ago, when the Ukraine International Airlines (Uia) Boeing 737-800 crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran airport.  The crash took place during the final hours of a missile attack by the Iranian Armed Forces against US targets in Iraq.  The launch of 15 missiles was the response to the killing of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Qods force who died in a US drone attack on January 3 in Baghdad.

In the hours following the plane crash, Canada - which had 57 citizens on board - and the United States said that it was an Iranian missile that shot down the aircraft, while declaring that it was probably an accident.  In response to Iran's backtrack, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he wanted official apologies and full cooperation, demanding that those responsible be held accountable.  "The Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake," Iranian President Hassan Rouhani wrote on social networks.  "My thoughts and prayers go to all grieving families."

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on Twitter that “human error at time of crisis caused by U.S. adventurism led to disaster,” citing an initial armed forces investigation into the crash of the Boeing 737-800. A statement from the Iranian military, the first to indicate Iran's change of position, said the plane had flown near a base of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.  The document explains that the radar had signaled planes near strategic sites.  This has led to "further readiness" in air defense units.  The departments involved in the error will be referred to an army judicial department.

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