The Ukrainian plane was brought down above Iran due to a “human error,” the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces said in a statement, released on January 11th.
Immediately after the passenger plane fell, a special committee comprising of technical and operation experts independent from Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization was set up with the aim to investigate the causes of the tragic incident.
The statement released, following the investigation is the following:
“Hours after Iran’s missile strike, the warplanes belonging to the terrorist American forces increased flights in the airspace surrounding Iran with reports keeping to come about some flying targets which were moving towards Iran’s defense targets. Also, numerous cases were observed on radar screens which demanded further alertness on the part of the Iranian airforce defense units.
In such a sensitive and critical situation, flight 752 of Ukraine Airlines which had taken off from Imam Khomeini International Airport, moved very close to a sensitive military spot belonging to the IRGC forces when completing a loop. The altitude and the direction of the flight’s movement were like an enemy target, so the aircraft was targeted unintentionally due to human error which unfortunately caused the martyrdom of a number of Iranian national together with a number of foreigners.
The General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces hereby extends its condolences to the bereaved families of the victims of the incident as well as those foreign nationals aboard the flight. It also offers its apology for the human error which caused the crash.
The related officials in the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) will elaborate on the details in media.”
Finally, the statement assured that such a mistake would never be repeated, since the Civil Aviation Organization would be subject to fundamental reforms and those responsible would face judiciary sanctioning.
In a separate statement, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed condolences and extended apologies to the victims’ families.
“In an atmosphere of threats and intimidation by the aggressive American regime against the Iranian nation after the martyrdom of General Qasem Soleimani, and in order to defend ourselves against possible attacks by the American Army, the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran were on full alert, unfortunately leading to this terrible catastrophe which claimed lives of dozens of innocent people because of human error and an erroneous shooting,” the statement noted.
Rouhani guaranteed that those responsible for the plane being shot down will be sued.
Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, too, expressed regrets the human error that led to the disaster.
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.
Regardless, Iranian officials maintain that part of the blame goes to the US, due to the escalation it began by assassinating General Qassem Soleimani, which led to Iran responding by launching missiles at US military bases in Iraq, and the subsequent increased level of readiness the Iranian Armed Forces and, evidently, Civil Aviation Organization were subject to.
As per IRNA, Iran’s national news agency, hours after Iran’s missile strikes, US warplanes had significantly ramped up their sorties in the airspace surrounding Iran with reports keeping to come about some flying targets which were moving towards Iran’s defense targets.
To investigate the situation further, Ukrainian Airlines flight 752’s black box was given to France, to be investigated, since Iran used all of its capabilities to investigate it, but it lacks the necessary technology to decode it, the head of the accident investigation board of Civil Aviation Organization of Iran Hassan Rezaeifar said.
Elaborating on the issue, Rezaeifar said Iran asked Canada, France and the US to bring their software and hardware equipment to Tehran to download the data of the black box of the Ukrainian plane, but they did not accept Iran’s proposal.
Regardless, Iran is the party that clearly bears the guilt for the incident, and it has decided to admit its error and attempt to rectify the situation, to the best of its abilities.