Iran confesses ‘unintentionally’ shooting down Ukrainian plane

Iran confesses ‘unintentionally’ shooting down Ukrainian plane

Saturday, January 11, 2020 7:47 am

Debris of a plane belonging to Ukraine International Airlines, that crashed after taking off from Iran’s Imam Khomeini airport, is seen on the outskirts of Tehran, Iran January 8, 2020.

Iran on Saturday morning admitted that its military forces unintentionally shot down the Ukrainian plane which killed 167 passengers and nine crew members on Wednesday, blaming human error for the disaster.

In a statement released early Saturday, Iranian government said the plane was mistaken for a “hostile target” after it turned toward a “sensitive military center” of the Revolutionary Guard when the military was at its “highest level of readiness.”

“In such a condition, because of human error and in a unintentional way, the flight was hit,” the statement said.

Iran apologized for the disaster and promised to upgrade its systems to prevent future tragedies.

The country had on Friday denied claims by the U.S. and Canadian intelligence that the plane, a Boeing 737 operated by Ukraine International Airlines, which crashed on the outskirts of Tehran during takeoff was shot down.
The plane crashed hours after Iran launched a barrage of missiles at U.S. forces in Iraq in retaliation for earlier assassination of its top military General, Qasem Soleimani by the U.S.
Iran had challenged American and Canadian investigators to share any information that they have on the incident.”What is obvious for us, and what we can say with certainty, is that no missile hit the plane,” Ali Abedzadeh, head of Iran’s national aviation department, told a press conference in Tehran on Friday.

Iran also promised to prosecute those responsible for the error that resulted in the shoot down of the plane.

The passenger’s manifest of the crashed plane showed it was carrying people from several countries, including 82 Iranians, at least 63 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians.

The Trump administration had on Thursday said it suspected an Iranian missile caused the crash of the passenger jet.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at a news conference that the missile strike was the most likely scenario and probably involved some type of mistake on Iran’s part.

“An investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing. If evidence shows that the Iranian missile did, in fact, take down the plane, then the U.S. “and the world will take appropriate actions in response,” Pompeo said.

“We do believe that it is likely that that plane was shot down by an Iranian missile. We’re going to let that investigation play out,” Pompeo said.

With reports from


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