Iran announced Saturday that its military ‘unintentionally’ shot down the Ukrainian passenger jet that crashed just outside the Iranian capital of Tehran on Jan. 8, killing all 176 aboard.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Twitter that the crash was the result of “human error at [a] time of crisis caused by US adventurism”
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
U.S. and Iraqi officials earlier speculated that the jetliner was shot down by Russian-built Tor-M1 surface-to-air missile system (NATO reporting name: SA-15 Gauntlet) operated by the Iranian military. At the time, Iran called the report absurd an asked the international community to provide evidence.
The aircraft, a Boeing 737–800 airliner, operated by the Ukrainian flag carrier Ukraine International Airlines (UIA), was on a scheduled flight (UIA Flight 752) from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport to Kyiv’s Boryspil International Airport. It stopped transmitting data just minutes after takeoff from Tehran on Wednesday and crashed shortly afterward into terrain located 15 kilometers north of the airport.
The crash occurred hours after Iran launched retaliatory missile strikes on U.S. positions in Iraq for the killing of Gen. Qasem Soleimani.
All 176 people onboard – 167 passengers and nine crew members – were killed in the crash, making it the deadliest aviation disaster in Iran in more than a decade. The crash was also the first fatal aviation incident for Ukraine International Airlines since the start of its operation in 1992.
82 of the victims were Iranian, 63 were Canadian and 11 were Ukrainian (including nine crewmembers), along with 10 Swedish, seven Afghan and three German nationals.