The Islamic republic of Iran has finally admitted that the crashed Ukrainian jetliner, which had all 176 onboard killed was “unintentionally” shot down by its military.
In a statement, Tehran blamed “human error” for the incident, adding that the military mistook Flight 752 for a “hostile target.”
Iran’s General Staff of the Armed Forces was reportedly said to have claimed 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.
Al Jazeera reports that in a statement on social media, Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani said that the country “deeply regrets this disastrous mistake”.
“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.”
It could be recalled that a Boeing 737 jetliner operated by Ukrainian International Airlines, went down on the outskirts of Tehran during takeoff just hours after Iran launched missiles at US forces in Iraq.
Although Iran had earlier denied shooting down the plane, saying it was impossible for such thing to have happened, British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson 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.
The 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.