Foreign Ministry forms special working group to ease consular affairs of plane crash victims 

January 13, 2020 - 16:32

TEHRAN - A special working group has been established by the Foreign Ministry to facilitate consular affairs for the victims of the Ukrainian passenger plane that was shot down mistakenly by Iran's air defense system on Wednesday morning, the ministry spokesman announced on Sunday. 

Abbas Mousavi said the working group is to immediately handle consular affairs and deal with the requests of the victims' families.

He further said that all the political and consular missions have been ordered to carefully deal with the requests of the victims' families.

On Saturday morning, the Armed Forces General Staff released a statement announcing “human error” led to the downing of the Ukrainian passenger plane near Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport. All 176 people on board lost their lives.

The victims of the plane crash included 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans, and three Britons.

The incident happened a few hours after Iran fired dozens of ballistic missiles at a U.S. airbase inside Iraq in retaliation for assassination of top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani on January 3.

Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), told a press conference on Saturday that the operator of the air defense base near Tehran mistook the doomed jetliner with a cruise missile. 
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khamenei on Saturday expressed deep condolences to the bereaved families, urging the Armed Forces General Staff to launch investigations into the downing of the plane.

Ayatollah Khamenei ordered the Armed Forces General Staff to probe possible failures and shortcoming that led to such a “painful” incident.

The Leader asked relevant officials to devise a mechanism to prevent such incidents in the future.

Also, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif expressed apologies and condolences to all who were affected by the tragic plane crash, blaming the U.S. adventurism for disaster.

“Preliminary conclusions of internal investigation by Armed Forces: Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster,” Zarif tweeted on Saturday.

“Our profound regrets, apologies, and condolences to our people, to the families of all victims, and to other affected nations,” Zarif added.

MJ/PA

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