New Delhi: A week after mourning the killing Qassem Soleimani in US airstrikes, Iran erupted in protests against the government after the military admitted that it mistakenly shot down the passenger plane with 176 people on board thinking it to be a target on January 8. All 176 were killed. Initially, Iran attributed the accident to a technical glitch.
Several videos of students taking to the streets and police throwing water canons surfaced online. During the protests, UK ambassador to Iran Rob Macaire was briefly arrested as he was accused of inciting protesters in front of the Amir Kabir University.
Iran apologised for the grave mistake and said that people responsible for it will be taken to task. The passengers included 82 Iranians, 57 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians. Canada PM Justin Trudeau has called for a complete and thorough investigation. Iran has come under closer international scrutiny.
General Amir Ali Hajizadesh, the head of the Revolutionary Guard’s aerospace division has expressed deep regret for the mistake. “Wish I were dead,” he said talking about how he felt when he came to know about the mishap. However, he told that he informed the Revolutionary Guard about the mistake on Wednesday itself. Several questions are being raised as to why Iran decided not to make it public. At a time when there was visible tension — as Iran just fired a ballistic missile targetting US Army bases inside Iraq — why the plane was allowed to take off is another mystery.