Ali Shamkhani made the remarks while attending a mourning ceremony for two of the plane crash victims on Sunday, saying that the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran has been the main party to mourn over this bitter incident.
“There was no intention to cover up the reasons behind this incident from the very beginning, taking into account that such a cover-up was actually impossible in view of the nature and technical characteristics of the crash,” Shamkhani said.
The Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752, en route to Kiev and carrying mostly Iranians and Iranian-Canadians, crashed minutes after takeoff near capital Tehran early on Wednesday, killing all the 176 on board.
On Saturday morning, the Iranian armed forces headquarters issued a statement saying that the Boeing 737-800 aircraft was erroneously shot down.
Iranian authorities say the Ukrainian airliner had been mistaken with an adversarial cruise missile when it was shot down by an extra missile defense system deployed to the southwest of Tehran.
We accept full responsibility for Ukrainian plane crash: IRGC Aerospace chiefIran
“The announcement of the real cause of the Ukrainian plane crash took some time due to the necessity of examining all the possible theories, including “possible enemy actions in jamming,” “hacking of systems,” “infiltration [of enemy agents],” and other related factors,” Shamkhani added.
“From the earliest hours after the plane crash, the Islamic Republic of Iran invited experts from the concerned countries to conduct unrestricted investigation, which is a sign of our goodwill gesture to closely follow up on the cause of the crash and announce the results of the investigations,” the secretary of the SNSC further said.
In conclusion, Shamkhani stressed, “It must be noted that proving any of the factors that led to firing of the missile [at the Ukrainian plane] could completely change the way that the public was informed about the incident as well as the country’s response to it.”
Ukraine’s president wants Iran to ‘punish’ those responsible for plane crashUkraine demands that Iran “punish the guilty” in the recent accidental crashing of a Ukrainian plane, while praising Tehran’s cooperation with an “objective” investigation.
Iran has vowed full cooperation with countries whose nationals lost their lives in the crash, particularly Canada which had 63 citizens on board the plane.
Furthermore, Iranian authorities have promised a thorough investigation into the incident and vowed that all those responsible for the tragedy will be held into account.
The tragic incident occurred a few hours after the Iranian defense units poured more than a dozen ballistic missiles on two military bases housing US troops in Iraq, in retaliation for the US assassination of Iran’s top military commander, Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in a US drone strike near Baghdad International Airport on January 3.
The strike also assassinated Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy chief of the Iraqi pro-government Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), near Baghdad International Airport. Four other Iranians and four more Iraqis in their company were also martyred.