Iran admits ′unintentionally′ shooting down Ukrainian plane with a missile
Iran has announced that its military “unintentionally” shot down a Ukrainian plane, murdering all 176 on board.
The statement on Saturday morning blames “human error” for the attack, adding that the military mistook Flight 752 for a “hostile target”, probably meaning a plane carrying American citizens on board.
Press TV also quoted Iran’s General Staff of the Armed Forces as saying that the plane had flown close to a “sensitive military site”.
“The military was at its highest level of readiness” amid the heightened tensions with the US, it said, adding: “In such a condition, because of human error and in an unintentional way, the flight was hit.”
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy responded on Saturday morning that Iran must make an official apology and agree to a full investigation and compensation, as well as co-operating with Ukraine’s own investigators.
“We expect from Iran assurances of their readiness for a full and open investigation, bringing those responsible to justice, the return of the bodies of the dead, the payment of compensation, official apologies through diplomatic channels,” he said.
Iran had denied for several days that a missile downed the aircraft. But then the US and Canada, citing intelligence, said they believed Iran shot down the aircraft.
Three Brits, 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, 4 Afghans and 4 Germans were killed when the Ukrainian passenger plane was shot down near Tehran.
Several major airlines are re-routing flights to avoid airspace over Iraq and Iran due to security risks.