Iran says it ‘unintentionally’ shot down Ukrainian plane, blames ‘human error’
Ukraine Plane Crash: For days, Iran denied that its missile had downed the aircraft despite US and Canada intelligence suggesting otherwise. The plane, en route to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, was carrying 176 passengers.
Days after 176 people were killed in a Boeing 737 crash on the outskirts of Tehran, Iran Saturday admitted to “unintentionally” shooting down the aircraft. In a statement released by its military, Iran blamed “human error” for the accident and said the plane was mistaken for “a hostile target.”
The Iranian military’s statement said the plane “took the flying posture and altitude of an enemy target” as it came close to a Revolutionary Guard base. It said that “under these circumstances, because of human error,” the plane “came under fire.” It apologized for the disaster and said it would upgrade its systems to prevent such “mistakes” in the future.
For days, Iran denied that its missile had downed the aircraft despite US and Canada intelligence suggesting otherwise. Read in Malayalam, Bangla
The jetliner, operated by Ukrainian International Airlines, crashed just after takeoff on Wednesday, hours after Iran launched a barrage of missiles at US forces in Iraq. The plane, en route to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew members from several countries, including 82 Iranians, at least 63 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians.
Calling it a “disastrous mistake”, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed “deep regrets” and offered condolences. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the error was caused by “US adventurism.” “Our profound regrets, apologies, and condolences to our people, to the families of all victims, and to other affected nations,” he wrote in a tweet.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the country expects a full investigation, a full admission of guilt and compensation from Iran. “We expect from Iran assurances of their readiness for a full and open investigation, bringing those responsible to justice, the return of the bodies of the dead, the payment of compensation, official apologies through diplomatic channels,” he said in a statement.
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also demanded “accountability, transparency, and justice” for the families of the victims.