TEHRAN, January 11. /TASS/. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has taken responsibility for the Ukrainian plane crash near Tehran, Commander of the IRGC’s Aerospace Force Amirali Hajizadeh said on Saturday.
"We admit full responsibility and are ready to follow any orders given by the (country’s) authorities," he said. "I wished I were dead" when learning about the plane crash, Commander added.
The country’s air defense system was on highest alert during that night, he noted.
"The plane was identified as a cruise vehicle," he was quoted as saying by the ISNA News Agency. "The operator had 10 seconds to take a decision," Commander added.
Hajizadeh added that "the statement was delayed not because someone wanted to keep back (the reason of the crash)." "The General Staff had to conduct an investigation," he explained.
On January 8, a plane operated by Ukraine International Airlines crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport. According to the data provided by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadim Pristaiko, 176 people were killed in the crash. They were citizens of Iran, Canada, Ukraine, Sweden, Afghanistan, Germany, and the UK.
Iran’s General Staff said in a statement on Saturday that the plane had been shot down due to human error.