Published: Fri, January 17, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Iran Finally Admits Role in Plane Disaster

Iran Finally Admits Role in Plane Disaster

Of the victims, 57 were Canadians.

On Saturday, the US president threw his support behind Iranian anti-government protesters, saying his administration always has stood with the "brave and long-suffering" people of Iran and would continue to do so.

"DO NOT KILL YOUR PROTESTERS", Trump said.

Meanwhile, another video making the rounds showed the national symbol of Iran, four crescents and a sword in the shape of a water lily flying through what appeared to be a 1980s-style video game like "Galaga".

Tehran has acknowledged shooting down the Ukrainian jetliner in error, killing 176 people, hours after it had fired at US bases to retaliate for the killing of Iran's most powerful military leader in a drone strike ordered by Trump.

The Iranian government is facing tough questions over why its military took several days to admit to accidentally shooting down the plane, following repeated denials of involvement.

"Create online and on-air communications channels that dissidents can access to communicate outside of the Iranian government channels, for example digital radio channels could provide Iranians with news, entertainment and information on protest locations", Rasley added.

Trump and Pompeo have said Soleimani was the world's preeminent terrorist and justified his killing over imminent attacks US diplomatic and military personnel were facing although the purported intelligence leading to that assessment hasn't been disclosed.

Iran has taken the lead on the investigation under global civil aviation rules, with Canadians, Americans and Ukrainians playing supporting roles to varying degrees.

In a tweet on Sunday, Trump called for Iran's leaders to exercise restraint.

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The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a US -designated terrorist organization and formal wing of the Iranian military, took responsibility on Saturday for shooting down Ukrainian International Airlines (UIA) Flight 752 last Wednesday amid an Iranian attack on Iraqi military bases housing USA troops.

Iran responded to the assassination by pounding two United States military bases in Iraq with a volley of precision-guided missiles, which rattled many of its adversaries long bent on putting the country in a chokehold. He also tweeted a message of support Saturday for the protestors, saying that he stands with them and draws inspiration from their courage. The Iranian military admitted to unintentionally shooting down the aircraft, having confused it with a hostile cruise missile.

"I swear to almighty God that I wished I were in that plane and had crashed with them and had burned, and had not witnessed this tragic incident", Salami said.

China is Iran's nominal ally and the official statements out of the Chinese Foreign Ministry have not been as critical as those out of state-controlled media.

His televised speech was delivered Sunday, a week after the Iranian general was killed in a USA drone strike in Baghdad.

But others said Iran's enemies, a term usually used to refer to Washington and its allies, were exploiting the incident.

There's also been a cultural outpouring of grief and anger from Iran's creative community.

On Saturday, President Hassan Rouhani said a military probe into the tragedy had found "missiles fired due to human error" brought down the Boeing 737. The Ukrainian government will make payments to the families of each of those who died in the crash, he said.

In Kiev, a top security official said a senior Iranian investigator would visit the Ukrainian capital in the coming days to determine whether a Ukrainian laboratory is suitable to decode the plane's black box flight recorders.

National security adviser Robert O'Brien says Iran's leaders are "reeling from their incompetence in this situation and the people of Iran are just fed up with it".

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