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EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / An engine lies on the ground after a Ukrainian plane carrying 176 passengers crashed near Imam Khomeini airport in the Iranian capital Tehran early in the morning on January 8, 2020, killing everyone on board - Sputnik International

Live Updates: Iran Ready to Assist Probe As IRGC Takes Full Responsibility for Downing Ukrainian Jet

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Earlier this week, a Boeing 737 crashed in Iran killing all 176 people on board. Tehran previously stressed that the tragedy had occurred due to a technical error. Several Western nations, however, refused to rule out the possibility that the plane was downed by a missile.

Tehran unintentionally shot down Ukraine's Boeing 737 because of "human error", Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Saturday.

The Iranian military also confirmed in a statement on state TV that the jet was brought down unintentionally as it flew close to a sensitive military installation. According to the statement, the parties responsible will be held accountable by the judiciary.

The armed forces have expressed their condolences to the families of the victims.

The Ukrainian Airlines Boeing 737-800 travelling from Tehran to Kiev crashed soon after takeoff from Tehran Airport on Wednesday.

All 176 people on board the aircraft died, including citizens of Iran, Ukraine, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, and Afghanistan.

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18:53 GMT 11.01.2020

"We agreed [with Rouhani] about the beginning of joint work on decoding two flight recorders," Zelenskyy said on his official Facebook account.

16:35 GMT 11.01.2020
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The first deputy head of the Russian upper house's international affairs committee, Vladimir Dzhabarov, said that Iran acted honourably by officially admitting guilt in the Ukrainian plane crash.

“Now Iran would have to apologize officially and pay compensations to the victims’ families. Western propaganda will crack down on the country, pointing to its guilt and Iran’s danger", Dzhabarov said.

13:46 GMT 11.01.2020
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11:46 GMT 11.01.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, held phone talks on Saturday to discuss the crash of Ukraine's Boeing 737 in Tehran after it became known that the plane had been shot down by the Iranian military, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting agency announced.

The IRIB informed about the Rouhani-Zelensky call on its Telegram channel.

The two presidents were expected to speak slightly later in the day, as per the Ukrainian presidential press service's announcement earlier on Saturday.

11:34 GMT 11.01.2020
11:33 GMT 11.01.2020

KIEV (Sputnik) - Ukrainian experts have received all the necessary information on the Ukrainian Boeing 737 crash in the vicinity of Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport and were granted data access, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's Office said on Saturday.

"Operational headquarters of the NSDC [Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council] established by the order of President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the plane crash of a UIA [Ukraine International Airlines] Boeing in Iran, received all the necessary information from the very beginning. Our experts were provided with all video, photo and other materials to analyse the processes that took place and are still ongoing in Tehran", the presidential office said in its Telegram channel.

11:28 GMT 11.01.2020

According to the vice president, Tehran Airport was open and in full working capacity during the incident, adding that Iranian authorities should have closed the airport.

11:19 GMT 11.01.2020
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10:10 GMT 11.01.2020

According to the commander of the Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Amir Ali Hajizadeh, Iranian air defence systems mistook the Boeing 737 for a cruise missile. The plane was shot down with a short-range projectile, he added.

09:40 GMT 11.01.2020
08:14 GMT 11.01.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Hassan Rezaeifar, head of the Iranian Civil Aviation Organisation's investigation board, said on Saturday that the flight recorder of the unintentionally downed Ukrainian passenger plane will be sent to France for decoding, Iranian state media reported.

According to Rezaeifar, as cited by the IRNA news agency, Iran had to ask a third country to decode the black box as it lacked the necessary technology itself. He said that Iran had asked Canada, France and the United States to bring their software and hardware to Tehran to download the recorder's data, but they declined.

Rezaeifar was further cited as saying that Tehran then asked Canada, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States to send the black box to an impartial country and all five agreed on France, a country with which Iran has an agreement for downloading black boxes.

These decisions, however, were taken before the Iranian General Staff made a statement on Saturday on that the plane was accidentally shot down by Iranian forces.

07:32 GMT 11.01.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has ordered the government to make public the findings of an inquiry into the unintentional downing of the Ukrainian Boeing 737 over Tehran by Iranian forces, Iranian state media reported on Saturday.

According to the broadcaster IRIB, Khamenei convened an emergency meeting of Iran's Supreme Council for National Security immediately after he was informed about the catastrophic mistake by the country's air defence forces, who mistook a passenger plane for a hostile military jet.

Khamenei has confirmed that the cause of the incident and the findings of an investigation into it will be released in a transparent and honest manner once the meeting is over, the broadcaster added.

 

07:10 GMT 11.01.2020
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06:42 GMT 11.01.2020

"It was not a good morning, but it brought the truth. Even before the conclusion of the investigation by the international committee, Iran owned up to its guilt...We insist on the full admission of guilt. We expected Iran to assure its preparedness to a full and open investigation, to hold the culprits accountable, to return the bodies of the victims, to pay compensation, and to issue official apologies through diplomatic channels", Zelensky wrote on Facebook.

05:04 GMT 11.01.2020

TEHRAN (Sputnik) – The Iranian forces falsely recognised the Ukrainian Boeing 737 as an enemy military plane and downed it, waiting for a US response to its strikes on US bases in Iraq, the Iranian General Staff said on Saturday.

“Amid the threats of the criminal [US] president and military command to hit multiple targets in Iran as well as given the unprecedented air activity in the region, the country’s armed forces were put on highest combat alert to respond to possible threats”, the General Staff said in a statement.

The General Staff said that after taking off from Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport, the Ukrainian plane approached a military facility and was falsely identified as an enemy aircraft and shot down.

05:02 GMT 11.01.2020

According to the statement, President Rouhani also ordered to eliminate the flaws in the national air defence system in the wake of the downing of the Ukrainian passenger jet.

“It is necessary to eliminate all weaknesses of the air defence systems, take all the measures to prevent such disasters in the future”, Rouhani said in a statement published on his website.

04:51 GMT 11.01.2020
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