Iran admits: “The shot down Ukrainian boeing was a human error” – La Stampa


Failure to calibrate a radar due to a “human error”. This “key element”, that is to say the first of a tragic series of mistakes and misunderstandings that led to the shooting down by Iran of a Ukrainian passenger plane on January 8 with the killing of all 176 people on board. Such, at least, is the conclusion reached by an investigation by the Civil Aviation of Tehran, pending that in the coming weeks the analysis of black boxes, whose transfer abroad had so far been denied by the Islamic Republic authorities. Using the transparency policy, Iran therefore seems to try to put an end to a case that had brought the crisis of confidence between the population and the leaders of the Islamic Republic, already shaken by the demonstrations for the life of the previous November, to alert levels, repressed at the price of hundreds of dead. For three days Tehran had denied any responsibility in the tragedy of Ukrainian International Airlines flight PS-752, which took off from the capital with destination Kiev. 147 Iranians on board, including about 60 with dual Canadian citizenship, mostly students, university teachers, professionals who returned to Canada after the Christmas holidays in Iran.

Iran, the Ukrainian plane is hit by a rocket: the moment of impact

A significant cross-section of the success of the Iranian diaspora, and their stories had helped fuel the anger of the population, who took to the streets to protest in Tehran and other cities. The shooting took place at the height of a dangerous escalation between Iran and the United States, which on January 3 killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, head of foreign operations of the Revolutionary Guards, with a drone raid in Baghdad. The emotional reaction to the American attack had pushed millions of Iranians to participate in the funeral for Soleimani, a figure capable of reawakening nationalist sentiment even among the most lukewarm or even hostile Iranians towards the regime. But the shooting down of the Ukrainian Boeing suddenly changed the atmosphere. The tragedy occurred in the early hours of January 8, a few hours after Iran had taken action to avenge Soleimani with the launch of a missile salvo on a base in Iraq where US troops were present. The defended areas of the Islamic Republic were therefore in a state of maximum alert to face any new enemy attacks. But it was precisely the Ukrainian Boeing 737 that was shot down, mistaken, according to Tehran authorities, for a hostile aircraft approaching and hit by two missiles.

Plane crashed in Iran: the video of the crash taken by the security camera

The Iranian Air Force, warning that his is “a report on the facts” and not yet a conclusion of the investigation, says that, due to the failure to adjust the radar, “the system was unable to accurately perceive the trajectory of the Ukrainian plane “. But this was followed by other errors, such as that of the radar operator who could still have identified the target as an airliner, as well as communication defects with the coordination center of the defense units. Iran said it has arrested six people so far in the investigation, but without giving details of their identities and functions. The investigation should now continue internationally with the analysis of black boxes, which Bea, the French agency investigating air disasters, is expected to begin on July 20 on the basis of an agreement with Iran. While Canada said it had obtained an agreement in principle from Tehran to start negotiations for compensation to the families of foreign victims, coming from the North American country, from Ukraine, Great Britain, Sweden and Afghanistan.

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