Iran won’t allow enemy exploit Ukrainian plane incident: Army chief

January 15, 2020 - 15:26

TEHRAN — Army Chief Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi has said Iran will not let the enemy take advantage of the accidental downing of a Ukrainian plane, Mehr reported.

“We won’t let the enemy take advantage of the recent aerial accident, which was bitter and regrettable for everyone, and disrupt the tranquility and security of the country and the people by its disinformation campaign,” Mousavi said on Tuesday.

“Today, Iran’s aerospace is more secure than before for all flights and is ready to provide different flights with its services,” he added.

All 176 crew members and passengers, 147 of whom were Iranians, died in the Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) crash which came a few minutes after take-off from Tehran to Kiev on Wednesday.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces issued a statement on Saturday saying that the Ukrainian plane crash was caused by a “human error”.

“The Ukrainian passenger plane was hit unintentionally and due to human error, which unfortunately led to the martyrdom of a number of our people and also a number of foreign nationals,” the statement read.

It came in the aftermath of a Trump-ordered U.S. attack at Baghdad’s airport on January 3 that killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. 

Iran took revenge by attacking an American airbase in Iraq with more than ten missiles.

The Ukrainian plane was hit accidently right after the attack, which had put Iran on full alert due to a possible U.S. retaliation.

“Surely, in the eyes of the appreciative people of the Islamic Iran and the noble families of the deceased, human error will not wane the Guards’ great achievements which have established security and brought dignity [for Iran],” General Mousavi said.

He added that the Army, through cooperation with the IRGC and other armed forces, will strive until its last breath for the independence, security and glory of the great Iranian nation under the leadership of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

MH/PA

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