Iran has announced that its military “unintentionally” sh*t down a Ukrainian jetliner, k!ll-ing all 176 on board.The statement on Saturday morning bla=mes “human error” for the incident, adding that the military mistook Flight 752 for a “host!le ta*get”.Press TV also quoted Iran’s General Staff of the Armed Fo*ces as saying that the plane had flown close to a “sensitive military site”.
The military said it was at its “highest level of readiness” amid the heightened tensions with the United States.”In such a condition, because of human error and in an unintentional way, the flight was h!t,” the military said. It apologized and said it would upgrade its systems to prevent future tra-gedies.
In a statement posted on social media, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani wrote that the country “deeply regrets this d!sa-strous mistake.”My thoughts and prayers go to all the mourning families. I offer my sincerest condolences,” he said, adding that “investigations continue to identify and pros-ecute this great tra*edy and unforgivable mistake.”
Iran had denied for several days that a missile downed the aircraft. But then the US and Canada, citing intelligence, said they believe Iran shot down the aircraft.On Friday, Ali Abedzadeh, head of Iran’s civil aviation department, said it was impossible due to close coordination between Iran’s air de*ence and civil aviation department.”What is obvious for us, and what we can say with certainty, is that no missile hit the plane,” Abedzadeh told reporters in Tehran.
The jetliner, a Boeing 737 operated by Ukrainian International Airlines, went down on the outskirts of Tehran during takeoff just hours after Iran launched a barrage of missiles at US fo*ces in Iraq. Al Jazeera’s Assed Baig, reporting from Tehran, said questions are now being raised as to why Iranian authorities kept the country’s air space open during a military operation.”There’s a lot of explaining to do by Iranian authorities. People want to know why and how it happened.”
In a social media post, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said that “human error at the time of cr!s-is ca*sed by US adventurism led to the di*aster.”Our profound regrets, apologies, and condolences to our people, to the families of all v!cti-ms, and to other af*ected nations.”The plane, en route to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew members from several countries, including 82 Iranians, 57 Canadians, and 11 Ukrainians when it was sh*t down.
“This is the right step for the Iranian government to admit responsibility, and it gives people a step toward closure with this admission,” said Payman Parseyan, a prominent Iranian-Canadian in western Canada who lost a number of friends in the cra*h.”I think the investigation would have disclosed it whether they admitted it or not.This will give them an opportunity to save face,” he told AP news agency.
This Article First Published On ALJAZEERA