Iran has finally admitted to shooting down a Boeing 737-800 aircraft that crashed on Wednesday, killing all 176 passengers on board. The announcement comes after days of denials by the Iranian government which previously blamed the tragedy on mechanical issues.
Iran said it unintentionally shot down the plane, blaming it on human error and saying the passenger jet had made a sharp, unexpected turn toward a sensitive military base, according to a report by The New York Times. The plane was traveling from Iran to the city of Kiev in the Ukraine.
Iran's confession follows days of growing international pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iran to own up to the incident. Of the 176 passengers killed, 57 were from Canada. Other passengers were from the UK, Sweden, Germany, Ukraine, Afghanistan and Iran. A San Diego college student was killed, but no Americans citizens were on board.
Iran was immediately suspected of shooting down the plane, as the country had attacked two American bases in Iraq just hours before.
Newsweek reported on Thursday that Pentagon officials suspected the Iranian regime shot down the Ukrainian airliner using a Russian anti-aircraft missile.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, sounding like a Democrat, tweeted that "Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism" led to the disaster and offered Iran's sympathies to the families of the victims and other nations involved.
A sad day. Preliminary conclusions of internal investigation by Armed Forces:— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 11, 2020
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.