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Wednesday 29 January 2020

Iran says shot down Ukrainian passenger plane ‘by mistake’

After the accident, the US had claimed it was Iran that had shot down the Ukrainian plane, but Tehran had denied the attack on the plane

Iran has confessed to accidentally shooting down the passenger plane of Ukraine that crashed in Tehran. Iran said this happened due to human error. As many as 176 people died in this accident on 8 January.

After the accident, the US had claimed it was Iran that had shot down the plane. However, Iran had categorically denied the attack on the plane.

The chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian parliament said that Tehran should learn a lesson from the Ukraine plane crash.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that an internal investigation by the armed forces concluded that the missile fired by a human error caused the plane to crash. President Rouhani apologised for the accident and added that Ukraine’s plane is a big tragedy and an unforgivable mistake.

“Armed Forces’ internal investigation has concluded that, regrettably, missiles fired due to human error caused the horrific crash of the Ukrainian plane & death of 176 innocent people. Investigations continue to identify & prosecute this great tragedy (sic) & unforgivable mistake. #PS752,” Rouhani tweeted.

After a word from Iran’s civil aviation department, such an announcement by the political leadership in Tehran was expected. Now the Iran administration has issued a statement saying that the Ukrainian aircraft had come under target due to human error.

“A sad day. Preliminary conclusions of an internal investigation by Armed Forces: Human error at the time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster,” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted. “Our profound regrets, apologies and condolences to our people, to the families of all victims and to other affected nations.”

Earlier, the foreign minister of Ukraine had said it was too early to reach any conclusion regarding how the plane was targeted. Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 crashed in the vicinity of Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport shortly after takeoff. All 176 people were killed, including civilians from Iran, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Canada, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Since the accident, the American media had been speculating that Iran may shot down the passenger plane of Ukraine using a fighter jet. Iran had promised to do everything possible to help in the investigation of the accident. However, the photos of workers cleaning the debris after the incident gave rise to a suspicion that important evidence could be erased.

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