Iran announced on Saturday (January 11) that its military “unintentionally” shot down a Ukrainian jetliner, killing all 176 aboard. In response, Ukraine demanded that those responsible be punished and compensation be paid.
Tehran’s statement came blamed “human error” for the shootdown.
Following the statement, Iran’s foreign minister offered his country’s “profound regrets, apologies and condolences.”
“A sad day,” Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on Twitter. “Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster,” he said.
“Our profound regrets, apologies and condolences to our people, to the families of all victims, and to other affected nations.”
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.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 11, 2020
Following Iran’s admission, the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky demanded compensation besides punishment to those responsible.
“We expect Iran… to bring the guilty to the courts,” the Ukrainian leader wrote on Facebook, calling also for the “payment of compensation”.
The jetliner, a Boeing 737 operated by Ukrainian International Airlines, went down on the outskirts of Tehran during takeoff just hours after Iran launched a barrage of missiles at US forces.
Iran had denied for several days that a missile downed the aircraft. But then the US and Canada, citing intelligence, said they believe Iran shot down the aircraft.
The plane, enroute to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew members from several countries, including 82 Iranians, at least 63 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians, according to officials.