Iran admits to 'unintentionally' shooting down Ukrainian plane
Jan 13 2020
Late Friday night Iran's Revolutionary Guard ended days of denials amid mounting evidence from Canada and other Western allies, including videos of the incident that have gone viral, it admits it accidentally shot down the Ukrainian plane.
U.S. President Donald Trump, who has said he does not seek "regime change" in Iran, took to Twitter to express his support for the demonstrators, writing, "We are following your protests closely, and are inspired by your courage".
American officials say the introduction of new sanctions against Tehran for the stabbing earlier this week of launching ballistic missiles at two bases in Iraq, one of which were soldiers of the canadian armed forces. "We expect the full co-operation of Iranian authorities", he said.
Trudeau said a "full and complete" investigation is crucial in determining whether the downing of the airliner had indeed been a mistake, and he said compensation by Iran to the families should be "part of the mix".
"Unforgivable", said government newspaper Iran, which published all the names of those who died in the air disaster on the image of black plane tail.
Iran's state TV on Saturday quoted the Iranian military as saying that it "unintentionally" shot down the Ukrainian jetliner on Wednesday, in which all the 176 passengers and crew members on board were killed.
"To the courageous, long-suffering people of Iran: I've stood with you since the beginning of my Presidency, and my Administration will continue to stand with you", he tweeted.
The commander in chief, known for his random capitalization and spelling on the platform, collected almost a hundred retweets from a pair of tweets in Farsi commending the "brave and suffering Iranian people" who protesting Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The plane, a Boeing 737-800 en route for Kiev, came down shortly after take-off from Tehran, when Iran was on alert for USA reprisals after launching rockets at US troops in Iraqi bases.
Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called it "a flagrant violation of global law".
Fars, which is close to conservatives, said the protesting students chanted "destructive" and "radical" slogans.
He had just spoken by phone to Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, and said Iran promised to prosecute those responsible for the shootdown.
But Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh said the missile operator acted independently, targeting the 737 after mistaking it for a "cruise missile".
"He had 10 seconds to decide". Seven more diplomats and two investigators from the Transportation Safety Board were also waiting for visas to travel to Iran to help.
A military statement delivered on Iranian state television said the civilian airliner was mistaken for a "hostile target" when it turned toward a sensitive military site belonging to Iran's Revolutionary Guard, an elite unit of the country's military.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Iran must issue an official apology and also called for compensation for the disaster.