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Iran Admits to Downing Ukrainian Jetliner - Mistook for Cruise Missile: Iranian President Calls it "Great Tragedy & Unforgivable Mistake"

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Iran admitted on Saturday to shooting down a Ukrainian passenger jet that killed 176 people believing it was a cruise missile. The explanation was that the Air defense operator had ten seconds to respond and that there was a communications outage.

The Daily Mail reports:

The Iranian missile operator who shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet, killing 176, opened fire because his communications jammed and he thought he had only seconds to take out an incoming cruise missile, a Revolutionary Guards commander has said.

Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh, the Guards’ aerospace commander, said on Saturday the operator had mistaken the Boeing 737 for a U.S. cruise missile responding to Iranian ballistic missile attacks, and only had ten seconds to decide whether or not to open fire.

‘I wish I had died, and I wouldn’t have seen such an incident,’ Hajizadeh said somberly at a press conference. He claimed that a ’request had been made to clear the sky from civil flights at that time, but it did not happen due to reservations.’

For days, Iran vehemently denied that it was responsible for downing Flight 752 from Tehran to Kyiv on January 8, accusing the U.S. of spreading malicious propaganda and lies for suggesting such a scenario. 

Hajizadeh claimed that the country’s top military leaders were not initially aware that their own air defense system had shot the plan down, leading to confusion. Now the country has come clean, but still blames ‘US adventurism’ for the fatal ‘error’.

Frankly, I can totally understand why there would be tensions there in Iran, but at least they have admitted it due not to terrorism, but to mistake.

Obviously, that doesn’t bring back the dead.

Since the jetliner went down just hours after a barrage of missiles were fired at US forces by Iran, the US and Canada claimed it was Iran that shot it down, but obviously they claimed sinister motives in that.

The DM adds:

Ali Rabiei, an Iranian government spokesman previously said the claim Iran fired at the plane was a ‘big lie’ and the accusations were ‘psychological warfare’ against Tehran.

He said in a statement: ‘The United States is making the pain of the families worse.

‘It is unfortunate that the psychological operation of the US government and those supporting it are adding insult to the injury of the bereaved families and victimising them for certain goals by propagating such fallacies.

‘No one will assume responsibility for such a big lie once it is known that the claim had been fraudulent.’ 

Officials also pushed back against the Western account, saying the plane would have exploded if it was truly hit by a missile.

Iran officials had instead pushed the idea the plane suffered a technical malfunction mid-air, which caused it to crash.

The Iranian Civil Aviation Organization said: ‘The plane, which was initially headed west to leave the airport zone, turned right following a problem and was headed back to the airport at the moment of the crash.

‘The plane disappeared from radar screens the moment it reached 8,000 feet. The pilot sent no radio message about the unusual circumstances.

‘According to eyewitnesses, a fire was seen on board the plane which grew in intensity.’

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani tweeted out the findings that his country was behind the shootdown and wrote that Iran regrets the ‘disastrous mistake.’

“Armed Forces’ internal investigation has now 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,” he tweeted.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake,” Rouhani added.  “My thoughts and prayers go to all the mourning families. I offer my sincerest condolences.”

While the State Department claims a missile took down the plane, the pictures from the investigation seem to suggest multiple rounds of large caliber bullets that were used.

Video seems to suggest either an eruption from the attack on the plane that caused an explosion or possibly a missile.

Fortunately, US civilian planes were barred from flying over Iran and Iraq by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Again, the DM adds:

The Federal Aviation Administration also revealed on Friday American lives were possibly saved after it issued a notice barring US civilian planes from flying over Iran and Iraq. 

The FAA confirmed to it published a ‘notice to airmen’ (NOTAM) warning of potential hazards along the flight routes in the area just three hours before the plane was shot down. 

‘Our NOTAMs were published roughly three hours before the accident,’ a spokesperson for the FAA told Washington Free Beacon.

The notice specified ‘flight restrictions that prohibit US civil aviation operators from operating in the airspace over Iraq, Iran, and the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

‘The FAA will continue closely monitoring events in the Middle East,’ the NOTAM said.

‘We continue coordinating with our national security partners and sharing information with US air carriers and foreign civil aviation authorities.’

When the FAA was asked if the order saved American lives, an official from the agency said it would not ‘speculate on what effect [the notice] might have had’.

But one senior congressional official who is familiar with airlines issues said that the order ‘may well have saved American lives’.

‘Iran is not a normal country, and they regularly act in reckless and unprofessional ways,’ said the congressional source.

‘The FAA showed vigilance and competence in publishing the NOTAMs when they did, and they may well have saved American lives.’

Oh really, Mr. unnamed congressional source?

I wonder if this congressional source is aware that over thirty years ago, the US shot down a passenger plane that killed 290 civilians.  Guess where that plane was coming from?  That’s right, Iran.

As we previously reported:

On July 3, 1988, the United States killed 290 innocent Iranian civilians when it shot down Iran Air Flight 655—a tragic event that is not mentioned in history textbooks in school, and that is widely ignored in the context of current relations between the U.S. and Iran.

The scheduled flight was traveling from Tehran to Dubai, and there were 66 children on board, all of whom were killed, as no passengers or crew members survived the attack. The plane was shot down by the USS Vincennes, which was operating within Iranian territorial waters. It targeted the large Airbus A300 and then insisted that crew members mistook it for an F-14 fighter jet, despite the obvious difference in size.

At the time, Iraq and Iran were engaged in a bitter war that was declared by Saddam Hussein on Sept. 22, 1980. The United States’ support for Iraq in the conflict is notable because it would later go on to overthrow Hussein in 2003.

The Iraq-Iran War was horrific, and in the eight years that it lasted, estimates claim that “at the very least half a million and possibly twice as many troops were killed on both sides, at least half a million became permanent invalids.” The cost of the war was around $228 billion and it resulted in more than $400 billion in damage.

But then sometimes we make deadly and unforgivable mistakes too, don’t we?

You see, when you go and assassinate what is equivalent to a second in command of a country, and do so without constitutional, Congressional authorization, you end up making things even more tense; and no one can tell me that if the US had our vice president assassinated in a similar way, we wouldn’t retaliate.

As Senator Rand Paul has stated quite clearly, that doesn’t justify Iran or General Soleimani, but then again, our representatives are accountable to the people via the Constitution.

This is definitely devastating to the families of those on board, and Iran is going to have to account to them alone for their mistake, knowing that it won’t bring their loved ones back, but you can bet the warmongers in DC are going to try and get you to give your sons and daughters up for this, America.  Watch and see.

Article posted with permission from Sons Of Liberty Media

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