Iran released a statement in which the government admitted that it shot down a Ukranian airliner. It was also announced that the move was "unintentional" and the result of a "human error".
Iran had initially said that the crash is the result of engine failure. The US and Canadian intelligence dismissed it and insisted that it was a missile attack.
On Saturday morning, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted that the preliminary conclusions of the internal investigation by armed forces say that it was a human error at a time of crisis caused by US adventurism. He also apologised to families of victims and affected nations.
A sad day. Preliminary conclusions of internal investigation by Armed Forces:— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 11, 2020
Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster
Our profound regrets, apologies and condolences to our people, to the families of all victims, and to other affected nations.
The statement read on TV explained that the Ukrainian aeroplane was mistaken for a hostile target as it turned toward a sensitive military centre of the Revolutionary Guard. It continued to say that the military was its highest level of readiness amid tensions with the US. The government said that systems will be upgraded soon to avoid any such mistakes.
The aircraft had 176 people inside and all were killed in the crash. The incident was right after Iran launched missiles at US troops in Iraq. The Boeing 737 took off from Imam Khomeini International Airport. It was flying to Kyiv and many passengers were to board a connecting flight to Toronto. Among the dead are 82 Iranians, 57 Canadians, and 11 Ukrainians.
The aircraft was shot down right outside of Tehran. The US President Trump said that it was flying in a "pretty rough neighbourhood" and "someone could have made a mistake".