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APD | Iranian president calls for special court to investigate plane crash




By APD writer Muhammad Sohail


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday calls on the country’s Judiciary to form a special court headed by a high-ranking judge and assisted by tens of senior experts to investigate the issue of the shooting down a Ukrainian plane earlier this month in Iran, local media reported Tuesday.


The Ukrainian passenger plane, with 176 people aboard, was unintentionally was shoot down by Iranian military personnel on Jan. 8, 2020 six minutes after taking off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport to Kiev.


“This is not an ordinary case. The entire world will monitor the proposed court,” Rouhani said.


“I myself, due to my somehow knowledge about air defense issue, say that only one person can’t be guilty in this adventure, so there are some others. I want to explain the issue honestly to the people,” Rouhani added.


According to the reports, 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans, and three British nationals were among the victims.


Rouhani said, “The government feels a responsibility towards the people as well as other nationalities who lost their lives in the incident. The government will fulfill its legal and judicial duties in this regard.”


The plane was hit a few hours after Iran fired dozens of missiles at a U.S. airbase inside Iraq in retaliation to the assassination of Iranian Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad.


According to Iran’s Aerospace Force Commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the operator at the airbase had mistaken the plane for an attacking cruise missile.  


Iran’s Armed Forces issued a statement on Saturday morning announcing that the Ukrainian passenger plane was shot down near the Imam Khomeini Airport due to a “human error”.


On Sunday, chief of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Hossein Salami told a closed session of the parliament the operator was informed of cruise missiles targeting some points in Iran, for few moments he was disconnected with SOC (security operations center) therefore, he mistook the passenger flight for a missile and shot it down.”


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