Iran has admitted it shot down Ukraine International Airlines flight 752, but said the strike was unintentional.
Iranian officials made the announcement Saturday morning local time, citing human error as the reason.
The plane was hit with a missile shortly after taking off in Tehran Wednesday morning, and burst into flames before crash landing. There were no survivors.
Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, tweeted that an internal military investigation revealed human error “in a time of crisis led by US adventurism” led to the attack on the plane.
It came days after US forces killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, and Iran fired back by launching missiles at US military bases in Iraq.
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Zarif added he sends his “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
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani added that those responsible would be prosecuted.
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.
Investigations continue to identify & prosecute this great tragedy & unforgivable mistake. #PS752
— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) January 11, 2020
Fifty-seven Canadians were aboard the flight, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs François-Philippe Champagne said Friday. Of the flight’s 176 passengers that died, 138 of them were bound for Canada.
Both Canada and the Ukraine are taking part in the investigation into what happened.