The government of Iran on Saturday said it unintentionally shot down the Ukrainian plane that crashed over the Iranian airspace on Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board.
The place a Boeing 737, being operated by Ukraine International Airlines (UIA), crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran International Airport. The crash occurred shortly after Iran launched missiles at military bases hosting American forces in Iraq in an aim to revenge the killing of Iranian top general Qasem Soleimani.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani tweeted on Saturday.
“Armed Forces’ internal investigation has concluded that regrettably missiles fired due to human error caused the horrific crash of the Ukrainian plane & death of 176 innocent people,” Rouhani added.
Iran says the plane was mistaken for a hostile plane at a time when threatening of reprisal attacks by the US on Iran at the highest level.
“Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster,” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted.
“Our profound regrets, apologies and condolences to our people, to the families of all victims, and to other affected nations,” Zarif added.
Iran, which had earlier denied the plane was shot down, has said it will allow the US, Ukraine, Canada and others to joint investigation.
Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 has 176 people on board, who included 82 Iranians, 57 Canadians (mostly Iranian-Canadians), 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, 4 Afghans, 3 Germans, and 3 Britons. It had just taken off from Tehran International Airport and destined for Kiev when it crashed.