Iran Admits to Shooting Down Ukraine Passenger Plane But Blames Trump
Iranian foreign minister says 'US adventurism' caused them to shoot down the airliner
Iran has finally admitted to shooting down the Ukrainian passenger plane with a missile, killing all 176 people on board, but implied that President Donald Trump was to blame for their actions.
Iranian officials, including President Hassan Rouhani, released statements Saturday morning claiming the country's military “unintentionally” shot down the jetliner this week, shortly after it took off from Tehran's international airport.
The first announcement came Saturday via Iranian state television and referred to a statement from the military, citing “human error” for the strike, according to The Associated Press.
In a separate statement on Twitter, Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, said "US adventurism" led Iran to shoot down the airplane full of innocent people, implying that President Trump was to blame.
A sad day. Preliminary conclusions of internal investigation by Armed Forces:— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 11, 2020
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.
Iran's President Rouhani also tweeted claiming that "human error" caused the "horrific crash," while vowing to "identify & prosecute" those responsible for "this great tragedy & unforgivable mistake."
He also wrote, "The Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake," but made no mention of the U.S. in either message.
The Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake.— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) January 11, 2020
My thoughts and prayers go to all the mourning families. I offer my sincerest condolences. https://t.co/4dkePxupzm
Contrary to claims from the U.S. and Canada that pointed to Iran, the rogue nation had previously denied involvement in the crash.
The crash of the Boeing 737, which was operated by Ukrainian International Airlines, happened during takeoff from Tehran’s airport just hours after Iran fired missiles at two airbases were U.S. troops had been stationed – but no U.S. casualties were reported.
The plane, which was bound for Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, had 167 passengers and nine crew members aboard.
Those killed included 82 Iranians, 57 Canadians, and 11 Ukrainians, officials said.
The number of Canadians was revised from a previously reported figure of 63.
Iranians who’ve emigrated to Canada frequently travel back and forth between the two countries, the Globe and Mail of Canada reported.
Kiev is a frequent stopping point because no direct flights operate between Canada and Iran, according to the paper.
On Friday, Canada's foreign minister had announced the launch of an international effort to press Iran for a thorough investigation into the cause of the crash.
The U.S. had promised “appropriate action” would be taken following its determination that the aircraft was downed by an Iranian missile.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday that intelligence sources indicate the plane was shot down by an Iranian missile.
PM Trudeau also implied that President Trump is partially to blame for the incident.