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Ukraine crash: Iran President Hassan Rouhani apologises for ‘unforgivable mistake’

The Iranian military’s statement said the plane “took the flying posture and altitude of an enemy target” as it came close to a Revolutionary Guard base.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 11, 2020 12:58:14 pm
A view of the debris of the Ukraine International Airlines, flight PS752, Boeing 737-800 plane that crashed after take-off from Iran’s Imam Khomeini airport, on the outskirts of Tehran, Iran January 8, 2020. (Photo via Reuters)

Soon after the Iranian military admitted to “unintentionally” shooting down a Ukranian aircraft, President Hassan Rouhani Saturday regretted the “unforgivable mistake”.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake. My thoughts and prayers go to all the mourning families. I offer my sincerest condolences,” Rouhani said.

“Armed Forces’ internal investigation has concluded that regrettably missiles fired due to human error caused the horrific crash of the Ukrainian plane and death of 176 innocent people. Investigations continue to identify and prosecute this great tragedy and unforgivable mistake,” he added.

The Iranian military’s statement said the plane “took the flying posture and altitude of an enemy target” as it came close to a Revolutionary Guard base. It said that “under these circumstances, because of human error,” the plane “came under fire.” It apologised for the disaster and said it would upgrade its systems to prevent such “mistakes” in the future.

A jetliner, operated by Ukrainian International Airlines, crashed minutes after takeoff on Wednesday killing 167 passengers and nine crew members from several countries, including 82 Iranians, at least 63 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians. The crash was hours after Iran launched a barrage of missiles at US forces in Iraq.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, too, apologised for the mishap and expressed condolences to the families of all the victims.

“A sad day. Preliminary conclusions of internal investigation by Armed Forces: 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,” he said.

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