TEHRAN, January 13. /TASS/. The crash of a Ukrainian aircraft mistakenly downed by the Iranian air forces is a result of the anti-Iranian policy advanced by the United States, Iranian government spokesperson Ali Rabei said Monday.
"We should not forget who made this tragedy possible," the ISNA news agency quotes him as saying. "Since the night when Americans cowardly killed General Qasem Soleimani, a shadow of war has been cast over Iran. Our society was overwhelmed by disquiet and was under enormous social and political pressure."
Rabei added, "One of the key issues is working on mistakes." "It is expected that after this incident we will undertake modernization of our systems and will reduce possibility of a human error to zero," he stressed.
On January 8, a Boeing 737 passenger plane belonging to Ukraine International Airlines went down minutes after taking off from Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport bound for Kiev. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadim Pristaiko said the crash killed all 176 people on board, noting that among them were citizens of Afghanistan, Germany, Iran, Canada and Ukraine and also British and Swedish nationals.
On January 11, the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces disseminated a statement admitting to mistakenly shooting down the plane. Commander of the Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (elite forces) Amir Ali Hajizadeh revealed that the national air defense systems had mistaken the passenger aircraft for a cruise missile.