Iran admits shooting down Ukrainian flight over Tehran in ‘unintentional’ missile launch

The Ukrainian passenger aircraft that recently crashed in Iran’s capital was brought down due to “human error” after flying too close to defense installations, triggering an accidental missile launch.

A military statement read on state media channels came as the first confirmation from Iranian officials that a missile, and not an engine fire, caused the crash last Wednesday. The statement noted that the shooting down was “unintentional” and maintained that those responsible would face consequences.

The statement comes after a number of conflicting press reports as to the fate of the aircraft, as well as claims from the United States and Canada that the plane was brought down by an anti-air missile strike, which Iran initially disputed, pending investigation.

The incident occurred on the heels of an Iranian missile attack on US bases in Iraq, launched in retaliation for an American assassination strike on Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, a culmination of months of rising tensions between the two countries.

All 176 people on board the airliner were killed in the crash, including 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainian crew members and several other nationals of Afghanistan, Germany and the UK.