Iran Apologizes for Shooting Down Ukrainian Airplane

“Missiles fired due to human error caused the horrific crash.”

Hassan Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan RouhaniLai Seng Sin/AP

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The Iranian government acknowledged late Friday that its armed forces were responsible for shooting down a Ukrainian airliner earlier this week, leaving 176 passengers dead. On Twitter, Iranian foreign minister Mohamad Javad Zarif offered his “profound regrets, apologies and condolences,” but he also sought to shift blame to the United States, whose killing of a top Iranian general had ratcheted up tensions between the two countries. “Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster,” he wrote.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called the destruction of the plane, which was shot down two minutes after it departed from Tehran on Wednesday, a “disastrous mistake.” Per the New York Times, the Iranian military released a statement saying that it had believed the passenger jet was a cruise missile.

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