Iran Admits to Downing Ukrainian Flight

Iran has reversed its statement that ‘a mechanical failure’ was to blame for a Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 crashing shortly after taking-off early morning on January 8.

The Ukrainian International airliner bound for the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, crashed minutes after takeoff from the Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran on January 8 amid escalating tensions between the United States and Iran, killing all 176 on board.

The plane was carrying mostly Iranians and Iranian Canadians.

On the evening of January 10, Iran’s military announced that they had accidentally shot down the passenger jet, blaming human error because the plane took ‘an unexpected turn’ toward a military base.

“Armed Forces’ internal investigation has concluded that, regrettably, missiles fired due to human error caused the horrific crash of the Ukrainian plane and death of 176 innocent people. Investigations continue to identify and prosecute for this great tragedy and unforgivable mistake,” tweeted Hassan Rouhani, the President of the Iranian Republic.

“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,” President Rouhani added to his tweet minutes later.

The Ukrainian plane carrying 176 people crashed on January 8, the same day Iranian missiles attacked American bases in Iraq. At first, Iran insisted that ‘mechanical issues’ were to blame. International society found the claim reasonable at first, with even the Ukrainian side ruling out an attack.

By Friday, January 10, American and allied intelligence assessments had concluded that Iranian missiles brought down the plane by accident. American media were quick to publicize the fact, as the world waited for Iranian officials to take responsibility.

Soon after the Iranian announcement, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia spoke to President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky over the phone.

During the conversation, the Georgian Prime Minister said he shared the pain over the loss of Ukrainian citizens in the UIA plane crash in the Iranian city of Tehran, and expressed condolences to the relatives of the victims.

Gakharia assured the Ukrainian President that Georgia was ready to provide all necessary assistance to Ukraine.

Zelensky in turn stressed that the key thing was to conduct a full and objective investigation into the causes of the tragedy, and Ukrainian experts were already involved in this process.

"We feel your support," he told PM Gakharia. "Ukraine and Georgia have always been side-by-side in the troubled periods of history. We have experts working, we have already sent a plane with our best specialists to Iran and we are working to ensure the transparency of the investigation,” the Head of State said.

By GT Team

13 January 2020 16:51