Iran admits to shooting down Ukrainian plane

Iran admits to shooting down Ukrainian plane

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Saturday that the investigation of Iran’s Armed Forces has concluded that missiles fired “due to human error” caused the crash of the Ukrainian plane.

“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 this great tragedy (and) unforgivable mistake,” Rouhani said on his official Twitter account.

“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,” he added.

Hours after the missile operation in Iraq, US military flights around the borders of Iran increased and Iranian military officials reported seeing aerial targets that were coming towards Iran’s strategic centers, according to a statement released by Iranian Armed Forces Headquarters.

Numerous defense centers around Iran reported seeing increased radar activity which caused a heightened sensitivity in the aerial defense centers of the country, the statement added.

Under such sensitive and crucial conditions, Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 took off from Imam Khomeini Airport and while in rotation, the aircraft came close to a sensitive IRGC military center at an altitude and flight condition that resembled hostile targeting.

Due to these circumstances, the aircraft was unintentionally hit, which unfortunately resulted in death of the many Iranian and foreign nationals, the statement said.

Manuel von Ribbeck of Ribbeck Law Chartered, who currently represents more than 80 families of the Boeing 737 MAX crashes -JT610 and ET302, stated that “our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the passengers and crew who lost their lives in the crash of Ukraine International Airlines flight 752. We hope for a prompt identification of the bodies and return to their loved ones.”

In a tweet, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said “human error” led to the Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 disaster.

“A sad day. Preliminary conclusions of internal investigation by Armed Forces: Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster Our profound regrets, apologies and condolences to our people, to the families of all victims, and to other affected nations.”

The Iranian military earlier said the plane was accidentally shot down shortly after takeoff over Tehran on Wednesday.