Iran has finally admitted that its military “unintentionally” shot down a Ukrainian jetliner, killing all 176 onboard.
This was contained in a statement on Saturday morning where it also blamed “human error” for the incident, adding that the military mistook Flight 752 for a “hostile target.”
Recall that jetliner, a Boeing 737 operated by Ukrainian International Airlines, went down on the outskirts of Tehran during takeoff just hours after Iran launched a barrage of missiles at US forces in Iraq.
Iran had earlier denied shooting down the plane, saying it was impossible for such thing to have happened.
This was after British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson had said that there is now a “body of information” that the airliner, which crashed shortly after takeoff in Tehran, was shot down by an Iranian missile
Also, Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau and the US had made a similar claim, revealing that it was actually Iran’s missile that shot down the Ukrainian airliner with 176 passengers on board .
But they all agreed that the action must have been taken unintentionally.
However, 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 said it was at its “highest level of readiness” amid the heightened tensions with the United States.
“In such a condition, because of human error and in an unintentional way, the flight was hit,” the military said. It apologised and said it would upgrade its systems to prevent future tragedies.
In a statement posted on social media, Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani wrote that the country “deeply regrets this disastrous mistake,” Al Jazeera reports.
“My thoughts and prayers go to all the mourning families. I offer my sincerest condolences,” he said, adding that “investigations continue to identify and prosecute this great tragedy and unforgivable mistake.”