Home Page >> WORLD 11 January 2020, Saturday 11:35

Iran admits military 'unintentionally' shot down Ukrainian jet

Iran admits military 'unintentionally' shot down Ukrainian jet

Iran said its military "unintentionally" shot down the Ukrainian commercial jet near Tehran that crashed and killed everyone aboard, in a statement cited by Iranian state television on Saturday.

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Iran said its military "unintentionally" shot down the Ukrainian commercial jet near Tehran that crashed and killed everyone aboard, in a statement cited by Iranian state television on Saturday.

Tehran cited "human error" as laying behind the incident and said Iran's armed forces regretted that it had led to the deaths of those on board the plane. The admission came after several days of Iran vehemently denying responsibility for the plane crash and blaming it on a technical fault.

All 176 people on board the Ukrainian International Airlines (UIA) Boeing 737 airliner died when it crashed in a field shortly after take-off on Wednesday morning.

Iranian President Hassan Ruhani confirmed that "human error led to this terrible catastrophe."

"Those responsible for this unforgivable mistake will be prosecuted," Ruhani said in a statement Saturday adding that he expressed his "deepest sorrow on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran."

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said "Iran has pleaded guilty to crashing the Ukrainian plane. But we insist on a full admission of guilt."

"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 added.

The incident occurred hours after Iran fired missiles at bases hosting U.S. troops in neighboring Iraq in retaliation for the killing of a top Iranian general in a U.S. airstrike.

Most of the victims were Iranian and Canadian citizens. There were also Ukrainian, Swedish and British nationals among those on the plane.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are among aviation authorities that have since advised airlines to avoid flights through Iraqi and Iranian airspace.

Tensions have been rising between the United States and Iran since President Donald Trump ordered the killing of top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani last week.

Tensions appear to have eased in the wake of Iran's strikes in Iraq, with Washington imposing new economic sanctions in place of a counter-strike.

source: sabah


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