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Iran announced that its military “unintentionally” shot down a Ukrainian jetliner, resulting in the deaths of all 176 aboard, according to reports.
The Boeing 737 had flown close to a sensitive military site belonging to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and was shot down due to human error, the Iranian military said on Saturday morning in a statement read on state TV.
Iran had previously rejected suggestions that it was to blame.
The downing of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 on Wednesday came just hours after Iran carried out missile strikes on two airbases housing US forces in Iraq.
Over 30 missiles fired by Iran toward US bases in Iraq. pic.twitter.com/XO3ljC3BzX— America's Keepers Thin Blue Line Show (@thinblueliner) January 8, 2020
The strikes were a response to the killing of senior Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in a US drone strike in Baghdad on 3 January which was a response to a Soleimani orchestrated attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq
Hassan Rezaeifar, the official specifically responsible for crash site investigations, listed Russia as one of the countries that may potentially receive the black boxes if Iran cannot crack them. Canada and Ukraine, the nations most affected, and France were also reportedly on the list.
Rezaeifar’s willingness to send the black boxes to allied Moscow contrast significantly with Iran’s aggressive refusal to let Boeing inspect them.
Abedzadeh, presumably Rezaeifar’s superior, said Wednesday that Iran under no circumstances would send the boxes “to the manufacturer and the Americans.”