Iran admitted to shooting down Ukraine International Airlines' plane, killing the 176 passengers on board. According to an official statement released by the Iranian television network, the accident was caused by a human error that, according to President Hassan Rouhani, was “unforgivable”.
The plane was allegedly mistaken for a missile as it approached a Revolutionary Guard base that was in "high readiness" due to tensions with the United States. US officials were already suspicious of Iran's involvement in the crash, although it initially blamed an alleged "engine failure" in a strange post on the Ukrainian Embassy website that was deleted shortly thereafter.
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(Source: R7 / Reproduction)
The commander of the country's aerospace forces, Amir Ali Hajizadeh, said the Revolutionary Guard took responsibility for the incident. According to the commander, the operator who fired the missile at the plane had 10 seconds to act and was unable to contact any superior, making a "bad decision".
"I wish I could die without witnessing such an accident," Hajizadeh said. "That night we were ready for a total war," he explained. All defense units were on alert and reinforcements had been sent to nearby Tehran, where the fall took place.
The Revolutionary Guard had even requested the suspension of commercial air travel, but the request was not fulfilled. President Hassan said Iran deeply regretted the death of the victims. According to him, the facts of the incident are still being ascertained and all those responsible will suffer due legal consequences, as reported by Gizmodo.
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