The Iranian army said in a statement today, Saturday, that the Ukrainian plane that crashed in Iran last week flew near a sensitive military site of the Revolutionary Guards and was shot down inadvertently, as a result of a human error.
The statement said that those responsible for the incident will be referred to the judicial administration within the army and will be held accountable.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani tweeted, saying that the shooting down of the Ukrainian passenger plane by the Iranian army was “a great tragedy and an unforgivable mistake.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also wrote on Twitter saying that the Ukrainian plane crash was the result of a human error “at a time of crisis caused by the American adventure”.
All of the 176 people on board were killed, and in its statement the Iranian army offered its condolences to the families of the victims.
The United States and Canada have said the plane was shot down, which Iran initially denied.
On Friday, the head of the Iranian Civil Aviation Organization, Ali Abedzadeh, said at a press conference that the Ukrainian plane that crashed in Iran was not hit by a missile, calling for not to anticipate the results of the plane’s black box analysis.
Zadeh asked the Americans “if they have evidence that the plane was shot down with a missile to provide it,” considering that talking about the plane crashing with a missile is a political rather than a technical issue, and he clarified that he asked for help from countries in the investigation, including Sweden and Canada.