Iran says Ukrainian jet was unintentionally shot down. The crash killed 176 on board
Iran has acknowledged that its armed forces “unintentionally” shot down the Ukrainian jetliner, killing all 176 aboard. Iran blamed human error and “U.S. adventurism” for the crash.
A statement by the Iranian military said the plane was mistaken for a “hostile target” after it turned toward a “sensitive military center”. The military was at its “highest level of readiness” amid the heightened tensions with the United States, it added.
In a statement posted on social media, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani deeply regretted the “disastrous mistake”.
“My thoughts and prayers go to all the mourning families. I offer my sincerest condolences,” he said, adding that investigations would continue to identify and prosecute those responsible for the tragedy.
Following Iran’s announcement, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Iran to provide a “full admission of guilt.” He said Iran should compensate victims’ families, and issue “official apologies through diplomatic channels.”
Iran’s acknowledgment came after leaders of different countries, most notably Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, cited intelligence reported that indicated “the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile” but added it may have been “unintentional”. Canada lost 63 citizens in the crash.
The victims include 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans and three British nationals.
The plane was shot down amid the heightened tensions between the United States and Iran after the killing of a top Iranian general in Baghdad, Iraq, in U.S. airstrikes.