Iran on Saturday admitted that it shot down the Ukrainian passenger plane on January 8 killing 176 onboard. (Photo Credit: File Photo)
US President Donald Trump told the people of Iran Saturday that he stands by them and is monitoring protests that broke out after Tehran admitted it shot down an airliner, killing 176 people. "To the brave, long-suffering people of Iran: I've stood with you since the beginning of my Presidency, and my Administration will continue to stand with you," Trump tweeted.
"We are following your protests closely, and are inspired by your courage," he added He tweeted the same message in Farsi as well.
Iran on Saturday admitted that it shot down the Ukrainian passenger plane on January 8 killing 176 onboard. The ‘confession’ will trigger more trouble for Tehran. ‘Regretting’ the crash, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani offered ‘condolences’ to the families of the victims. “Armed Forces’ internal investigation has concluded that regrettably missiles fired due to human error caused the horrific crash of the Ukrainian plane & death of 176 innocent people. Investigations continue to identify & prosecute this great tragedy & unforgivable mistake. #PS752 (sic),” Rouhani said on Twitter. “The Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake. My thoughts and prayers go to all the mourning families. I offer my sincerest condolences,” he said in another tweet.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif termed the development as ‘sad day’. Using a heartbreak emoji, Zarif tweeted, “A sad day. Preliminary conclusions of internal investigation by Armed Forces: 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.”
Denial And Admission
Iran had denied for several days that a missile caused the crash. But then the US and Canada, citing intelligence, said they believed Iran shot down the aircraft with a surface-to-air missile, a conclusion supported by videos of the incident. The plane, en route to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew members from several countries, including 82 Iranians, at least 57 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians, according to officials. The Canadian government had earlier lower the nation's death toll from 63.