Under pressure from the rest of the world, and with black box data about to reveal the worst, Iran has finally admitted that their military “unintentionally” shot down Flight 752, a Ukrainian commercial airliner, killing 176 people on board.
Overwhelming evidence to include video on social media and international intelligence assessments were clearly pointing to the fact that the plane was brought down by a missile strike outside of Tehran after takeoff earlier this week.
It was reported that Ukrainian investigators were provided access to the plane’s black box on Friday and were about to start examining the data that would include radio communications between pilots and Tehran flight control.
A separate CNN report indicated Friday that “a US official familiar with the intelligence said the plane was shot down by two Russian made SA-15 surface to air missiles. The US saw Iranian radar signals lock onto the jetliner, before it was shot down.”
Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, blamed “human error … caused by U.S. adventurism” for the strike and apologized “to our people, to the families of all victims, and to other affected nations” in a tweet.
A sad day. Preliminary conclusions of internal investigation by Armed Forces:
Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster
Our profound regrets, apologies and condolences to our people, to the families of all victims, and to other affected nations.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 11, 2020
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the crash investigation should continue and the “perpetrators” should be brought to justice, Fox News reported. Iran should compensate victims’ families, he stated and requested “official apologies through diplomatic channels.”
Official admissions coming out of Iran contradict previous denials of responsibility for the disaster. The first statement came from the country’s General Staff of the Armed Forces …
Breaking: In a statement, Iran’s General Staff of the Armed Forces took responsibility for #IranPlaneCrash, called it a “human error” and apologized for mistakenly shooting the plane by IRGC forces. Also promised to make proper changes to make repeating such errors impossible. pic.twitter.com/xkkZegV1xm
— Omid Memarian (@Omid_M) January 11, 2020
The Canadian Press confirmed that at least 74 of the victims had ties to Canada, many being students at Canadian universities. Others among the dead included citizens of the U.K., Ukraine, Sweden, Germany, Afghanistan, and Iran.
Iran President Hassan Rouhani tweeted condolences and regrets for the “disastrous mistake,” also saying that “investigations will continue to identify & prosecute this great tragedy & unforgivable mistake.”
The Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake.
My thoughts and prayers go to all the mourning families. I offer my sincerest condolences. https://t.co/4dkePxupzm
— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) January 11, 2020
Some experts say that the plane attempted to return to the airport after the missile strike and ultimately traveled 16 nautical miles before crashing into the ground.
— Kari Knuuttila (@GaryGnutter) January 10, 2020
New video captures final moments of UIA flight PS752. pic.twitter.com/5HYSWu48XP
— Breaking Aviation News (@breakingavnews) January 10, 2020
Flight 752 was struck by the two SA-15 missiles shortly after Iran had launched as many as 15 missiles targeting U.S. bases in Iraq that inflicted little damage.
Initial statements from Iran following the crash of the Ukrainian International Airlines Boeing 737 attempted to blame engine problems in the jet.
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