Iranian state media reports that Iran shot down the Ukrainian passenger plane unintentionally.
The Iranian army issued a statement on Saturday morning. According to the army, this was a human error. The army officials stated that the mistake occurred when a passenger plane turned toward the military area. The army said in a statement that those responsible would be held accountable.
Ukraine International Airlines' passenger plane crashed early Wednesday after taking off from Tehran airport. The plane was on its way from the Iranian capital Tehran to Kyiv. All 176 people on the plane died.
In its statement, the Iranian army said that it regrets what has happened and says it will upgrade its systems so that no such thing would happen in the future.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Twitter, that “Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake”. The President extends his condolences to the families of the victims.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif also commented on the news on Twitter and said that it is a sad day. According to Zarif, “human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster”.
So far, Iran has denied shooting down the airplane. Several Western countries have accused Iran of firing a missile which brought down the plane.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday that, according to intelligence sources, a passenger plane was shot down by a missile, either accidentally or intentionally.
The accident occurred just hours after Iran fired ballistic missiles at the International Alliance bases in Iraq. Iran launched a missile strike on the US military bases in retaliation for killing a prominent Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani, just over a week ago on Friday.