After a yearlong investigation, Iran’s civil aviation company on Wednesday launched its final report on the crash of a Ukrainian passenger aircraft that killed 176 folks final 12 months, revealing no new particulars in regards to the shootdown that has provoked outrage from affected nations and issues from UN investigators.
Following three days of denial in January 2020 within the face of mounting proof, Iran lastly acknowledged that its forces mistakenly downed the Ukrainian jetliner with two surface-to-air missiles.
In preliminary studies on the catastrophe final 12 months, Iranian authorities blamed an air protection operator who they stated mistook the Boeing 737-800 for an American cruise missile.
At the time, the US and Iran have been teetering on the sting of warfare.
An American drone strike had killed a prime Iranian basic, Qassem Soleimani, in Baghdad and Iran retaliated with ballistic missiles at American bases in Iraq.
Several hours after the missile strike, an air protection operator on excessive alert exterior Tehran opened fireplace on the business aircraft shortly after take-off due to an error in his radar system, Iran stated.
The nation’s long-awaited final report, which overseas governments and victims’ households hoped would shed extra mild on the mysterious downing, got here to the identical cryptic conclusion.
“The accident aircraft was misidentified by the air defense unit in the suburbs of Tehran and, consequently, two missiles were launched toward it,” the report stated. “The operation of aircraft had not imposed any error to the air defense unit.”
The 146-page investigation consists of particulars in regards to the timeline of occasions and evaluation of plane particles, however doesn’t determine culprits within the shootdown, clarify how the chain of command broke down, reply why authorities determined to maintain civilian airspace open as regional tensions soared or reply to different key questions.
Iran’s official rationalization has left investigators and aviation consultants unconvinced, with Canada’s particular adviser to the prime minister calling Iran’s narrative “difficult to accept” and missing in proof. Last month, Agnes Callamard, the UN particular rapporteur on extrajudicial, abstract or arbitrary executions, went additional. She known as the sequence of alleged errors “unreasonable” and stated Iran’s “multiple claims and stories create a maximum of confusion.”
In her report, the results of a six-month investigation, Callamard stated she had not discovered concrete proof that Iran had deliberately shot down the aircraft filled with its personal residents.
However, she stated, the “reckless” nature of the errors and “inconsistencies” in Iran’s official rationalization “have led many to question whether the downing of Flight PS752 was not intentional.”
“One may even question whether there was an order or implicit encouragement by the chain of command,” she wrote, “to apply lethal force without going through standard procedures and precautionary steps.”
Iran swiftly pushed again, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh lambasting Callamard’s report as “immature” and her enter as “unwarranted.” Iran insists the downing was a tragic mistake.
Compounding issues over Iran’s credibility, outspoken households of victims in Canada have reported harassment by Iranian authorities, starting from hateful messages and threatening telephone calls to suspicious vehicles tailing them at vigils.
Canada has confirmed its police are investigating instances of “harassment, intimidation and foreign interference” within the nation.