TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani offered his deepest condolences over the deaths of those aboard a doomed Ukrainian airliner and urged relevant organizations to probe into the human error behind the shooting down of the plane near Tehran.
“Knowing the outcome of the (initial) investigation into the tragic incident of the Ukrainian passenger plane crash and the human error proved to be involved therein increased the heavy burden of sadness about the disaster,” Larijani said in a message on Saturday.
He further expressed his “deep condolences” to the bereaved families of the victims of “the disastrous error” and wished them patience and tranquility.
Larijani also urged the relevant organizations to prioritize the probe into the mistake and identify those behind the tragic incident.
It came after the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces announced that the country’s air defense unintentionally shot down the Ukrainian passenger plane on January 8 amid the highest level of readiness because of a possible military attack by the US.
In a statement on Saturday, the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces said the incident took place following Iranian missile strikes on a military base of the criminal US regime in Iraq and amid a possible threat of hostile military actions.
“Following the threats from the president and the military commanders of the criminal US that a large number of targets on the Islamic Republic of Iran’s soil would be hit in case of a retaliatory operation, and considering an unprecedented increase in the aerial movements over the region, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Armed Forces were on the highest level of readiness in order to respond to possible threats,” the statement read.
It also said that military flights by the terrorist American forces had increased around Iran after the missile attack and there were reports that hostile aircraft posing threats to Iranian strategic centers had been tracked on radar screens, making the Iranian Air Defense more sensitive.
The statement added that the Ukrainian passenger plane had been approaching a sensitive military site of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in a latitude and with a form similar to those of a hostile object, and that a “human error” caused the jetliner to be hit unintentionally, leading to the martyrdom of the passengers.
It also offered an apology for the human error and expressed sympathy with the bereaved families of the victims, giving an assurance that “fundamental reforms” in the operational processes of the Armed Forces would prevent a recurrence of such errors.
The victims of Wednesday’s crash included 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans, and three British nationals.
All 179 people on board the Boeing 737, including nine crew, were killed when the jetliner crashed shortly after takeoff from the airport on Wednesday morning.
The plane operated by Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) was bound for Kiev.