Iran Admits It Accidentally Shot Down Civilian Airliner, Orders Investigation, Change in Procedures, Offers Apologies
At the height of a US-Iran war scare Trump has been ratcheting up since 2018
Iran says a Ukrainian plane which crashed outside Tehran this week had flown close to a sensitive military site and been brought down due to human error “at a time of crisis caused by US adventurism.”
In a statement Saturday, the general staff of the armed forces touched on the tense situation in the hours after Iran’s missile attack on US bases in Iraq, saying Tehran was on the highest level of alert “in response to threats by the criminal American president and military commanders” to hit a large number of Iranian targets.
“In the hours after the missile strikes, flights by the warplanes of the terrorist American forces around the country increased, and some reports of aerial targets heading toward strategic centers of the country were received by defense units while a number of targets appeared on some radar screens which raised the sensitivity of the air defense networks.
“Under such sensitive and critical conditions, the Ukrainian Airlines flight 752 took off from the Imam Khomeini airport and while rotating, it was placed completely in the position of approaching a sensitive military center in the altitude and trajectory of an enemy target.
“In these circumstances, the plane was unintentionally hit due to human error, which unfortunately resulted in the martyrdom of a number of our dear compatriots and the death of a number of foreign nationals,” it said.
All 176 people on the Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) flight died in the crash this week just after take-off from Tehran on a flight to Kiev.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake,” President Hassan Rouhani wrote on Twitter. “My thoughts and prayers go to all the mourning families. I offer my sincerest condolences.”
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif offered Iran’s “profound regrets, apologies and condolences to our people, to the families of all victims, and to other affected nations.”
“A sad day. Preliminary conclusions of internal investigation by Armed Forces: Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster,” he tweeted.
The general staff of the armed forces said those responsible for shooting down the passenger jet would “immediately” be brought before military justice.
It assured that “by pursuing fundamental reforms in operational processes at the armed forces’ level, we will make it impossible to repeat such errors.”
Iran’s justice orders military court to conduct immediate probe into plane crash
Iran’s judiciary has ordered an immediate probe into the unintentional downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane which crashed near the capital Tehran earlier this week.
Judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi issued an order on Saturday, calling on the military court to gather all the related data and documents from Iran’s General Staff of the Armed Forces, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and the country’s Civil Aviation Organization.
Raisi also called for testimonies from the officials who were implicated and informed on the matter.
Iran’s Prosecutor General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri ordered Tehran’s military court to conduct a swift investigation into the incident.
On Saturday, Iran’s General Staff of the Armed Forces put out a statement saying the Ukrainian plane was shot down “unintentionally” due to “human error” and that those guilty would be brought to military justice.
The statement added that “by pursuing fundamental reforms in operational processes at the armed forces’ level, we will make it impossible to repeat such errors.”
The incident happened as Iran had “raised the sensitivity” of its air defenses due to increased hostile American aerial activity which came after “threats by the criminal American president and military commanders” to hit Iranian targets, the statement read.
All 176 crew members and passengers, 147 of whom were Iranians, died in the Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) crash which came a few minutes after take-off from Tehran to Kiev on Wednesday.
Source: Press TV