MOSCOW, January 14. /TASS/. Russian State Duma (parliament's lower house) Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin has blamed the United States for the exacerbation of tensions in the Middle East that led to the launch of the Iranian missile at the passenger jet of the Ukraine International Airlines near Tehran.
"The US-bred tensions certainly caused Iran and other countries in the region to alert their defenses. We have said more than once that all this results in soaring tensions and, consequently, to conflicts," Volodin told the State Duma on Tuesday in response to a statement on this score by the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky.
"Escalation of tensions is fraught with many risks, including such missile launches. Our country has reiterated and it says again that it is essential to be guided by international rules and principles that we have," Volodin went on. "These issues should be discussed in the United Nations, too. Trying to decide the fate of other people and whole countries the way the United States does merely leads to chaos, wars and tragedies."
A Boeing-737 passenger jet of Ukraine International Airlines went down on January 8 minutes after leaving Tehran’s airport. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadim Pristaiko said the disaster claimed the lives of 176 people: citizens of Afghanistan, Germany, Iran, Canada and Ukraine and also British and Swedish subjects.
The General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces on January 11 issued a statement to recognize that the plane was downed by Tehran’s air defenses. The commander of the Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said the identification system mistook the passenger liner for a cruise missile.
Tensions in the Middle East surged on January 3 following a US overnight attack near Baghdad airport that killed the commander of the special Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Qasem Soleimani. Tehran on January 8 delivered a night-time retaliatory strike against two facilities in Iraq being used by the US military — the Ayn al-Assad air base and Erbil Airport.