New Delhi: A Ukrainian jetliner, which crashed outside Tehran earlier this week, was shot down ‘unintentionally’ due to human error, the Iranian military said in a statement on Saturday morning. Notably, 176 people had lost their lives on Wednesday when the Kiev-bound Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) flight PS75 crashed after taking off from Tehran. Of the total passengers, 147 passengers were Iranians and 32 passengers were foreigners.
“Armed Forces’ internal investigation has concluded that regrettably missiles fired due to human error caused the horrific crash of Ukrainian plane and death of 176 people. Investigations continue to identify and prosecute this great tragedy and unforgivable mistake”, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a statement.
Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif took to Twitter and blamed US ‘adventurism’ for the ‘disaster’. He also expressed regrets and paid condolences to the families of all victims. “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”, said Zarif.
Initially, the country (Iran) had denied that Iranian anti-aircraft missile brought down the aircraft, a claim made by two US officials. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had also asserted that the Ukrainian plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile, perhaps unintentionally. He had also called for “a full, complete and credible investigation to establish exactly what happened.”
Iran had also invited Russia, Ukraine, France and Boeing to participate in the investigation of the crash.
About the mishap that killed 176 people on board
On January 8, Wednesday, 176 passengers died when the Ukrainian plane Boeing 737 crashed in southern Tehran. The plane was on its way to Kiev in Ukraine. Iran’s news agency ISNA had earlier claimed that crash happened due to technical difficulties.
The crash took place just hours after Iran carried out missile strikes on two airbases housing US forces in Iraq, which were in retaliation to the killing of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani in a US drone attack in Baghdad on January 3.