The Iranian government has admitted to “unintentionally” shooting down the Ukrainian airplane which crashed on Wednesday January 8, killing all 176 people onboard.
In a statement read on state TV, the Middle-East country offered its apologies to the victims’ families including those of foreign nationals. They also blamed “human error” for the incident.
Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif wrote;
“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.”
The country’s military also said the airplane was mistaken for a hostile target after it turned towards a sensitive military centre of the Revolutionary Guard. It also announced that those responsible for shooting down the Ukrainian airplane will be held responsible, the military also disclosed that it will be upgrading its system to avoid such mistakes in the future.
The statement read in parts;
“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 crash occurred just after Iran fired missiles at Iraqi military bases housing US troops in retaliation for a drone strike at Baghdad airport that killed Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani, who was one of Iran’s most powerful and influential military leaders.
Though Iran before now denied shooting down the airplane and also refused turning in its black box, intelligence officials from different countries insisted that the Ukrainian airplane was shot down ‘unintentionally’.
The plane which was bound for Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, had 167 passengers and nine crew members from several countries. The crash victims include 82 Iranians, at least 63 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians.