Iran accepts shooting down the Ukrainian plane

The Commander of the Revolutionary Guards of Iran accepted that it was "a human error.".

Rescue workers search the scene, where a Ukrainian airplane carrying 176 people crashed.

Rescue workers search the scene, where a Ukrainian airplane carrying 176 people crashed. / Photo: Foad Ashtari / dpa

LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Suárez

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Leer en español: Irán acepta derribar el avión Ucraniano

On Wednesday, January 8, a plane collapsed in the air minutes after taking off from the Tehran airport, the capital of Iran. A Boeing 737 exploded in the air for what was initially said could have been technical failures, and ended the lives of almost 180 people on board.

The Government of Ukraine, since the plane was from Ukraine International Airlines and was headed to Kyiv, ruled out at first any strange reason that would have led to the fall, adjudicating the accident only to technical reasons, as it had been speculated that it would have been a terrorist attack or some missile, taking into account the tension that exists in the country and throughout the Middle East today. However, the Ukrainian Embassy in Tehran changed its statement later to state that it is still too early to determine the causes, but that the situation should be investigated.

However, in the midst of the controversy that generated the situation, on January 11 and through Iranian television, it was announced that military forces recognized the guilt of the accident, stating that the plane was shot down "involuntarily " and that everything was due to a "human error. "

It should be noted that Iran accepted the responsibility, after two days of denying it and despite not only the international pressure but also the graphic evidence that shown the moment of impact.

In this way, the commander of the Aerospace Division of the Revolutionary Guard, Amir Ali Hajizadeh expressed his apologies and appeared before the media to give the necessary explanations. "When I heard the news, I wanted to be dead," said the military man who continued explaining what happened, "after receiving an alert of an impending attack, the anti-aircraft defense system confused the Boeing 737-800 with an American cruise missile," according to the statements collected by El Mundo.

In addition, the commander accepted that the Revolutionary Guard has full responsibility for the events and will accept any decision taken by the authorities of the Islamic Republic.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also spoke through his Twitter account, where he deeply regretted the disastrous mistake. “My thoughts and prayers go to all the mourning families. I offer my sincerest condolences.” In addition, he pledged that the investigations will continue, in order to identify and process "this great tragedy & unforgivable mistake."

A missile in the middle of the 'accident'

The fact occurred in the framework of the clashes that have been taking place between the United States and Iran for more than a week, so speculation began to appear from the beginning. On the same morning on Wednesday, Iran launched several missiles towards US military bases in Iraq, which led many to suspect that perhaps the plane crash had not been an accident but rather had something to do with that attack.

Donald Trump was one of the first to assume responsibility for Iran in the incident. During a press conference, the president of the United States said his government had suspicions of the involvement of the Middle Eastern country. This, according to him, would be some other reprisals that Iran had threatened after the death of General Qasem Soleimani.

Read also: Iran's response to the United States

According to Semana, US officials say that "a satellite detected the launch of two missiles, SA-15, through infrared signals, and subsequently another signal that came from an explosion." According to President Trump's statements, the fact could have been an error of Iran in the search for that revenge they have warned.

This speculation was joined by the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau. There were 63 victims from Canada on the plane, so Trudeau offered Ukraine to collaborate with the investigation. At a press conference, the Canadian said he had information that led to the theory that a missile had caused the fatal accident. For this reason, he requested that a “deep investigation” be continued.

After the speculations that came from these and other Nations, the New York Times published a video that had access that would be proof that the plane would have collapsed due to the impact of a missile.

In the video, it shows how a missile approaches the plane and a burst is seen. According to the Times analysis, “a small explosion occurred when what appears to be a missile hit the plane above Parand, a city near the airport, but the plane did not explode, the video showed. The jet continued flying for several minutes and turned back toward the airport”. According to the media, there would be images and satellite videos that allow us to see the area where the crash occurred in order to give an overview of what happened the minutes before.

Meanwhile, the black boxes of the plane were found by the authorities and they have become the queen test to determine what happened, so it is not surprising that both the United States and Iran want to have control of them. Many countries have come out to claim ownership of them in order to confirm what some believe.

The Foreign Minister of Ukraine said Friday that his country has access to black boxes, but also accepted the support of other countries. Iran had insisted on accepting the help of other nations, but remaining in control of them so that for the moment, both countries have control over them.

With the black boxes, you could have access to information about the minutes before the explosion inside the cabin. The Iranian authorities said it will take between one and two months to obtain their information due to the damage they have. And that later, the investigation would take more than a year.

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