May 29, 2023

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Official says foes misusing Ukrainian plane tragedy

TEHRAN- Mohammad Dehghan, Iran’s Vice-President for Legal Affairs, has decried some countries for misusing the Ukrainian plane issue as a pretext to harbor hostility toward Iran.

Speaking on a TV show on Tuesday, he said “no wise person believes the 2020 plane tragedy happened on purpose.”

A verdict was handed down by an Iranian military court to those responsible for shooting down the Ukrainian passenger airliner.

Dehghan said the verdict will undoubtedly have a worldwide impact because certain nations have unfairly abused the accident.

He went on to mention that Iranian foes claim the tragedy was purposeful and pre-planned despite the fact that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) stated that it was officially an accident.

“We have a duty to follow the case in order to prove the Islamic Republic’s rightfulness,” the vice-president for legal affairs continued.

According to the verdict released on April 16, the case’s first defendant was given a 13-year prison term. The person has not been named.

The military officer who was in charge of the missile operation at the time of the downing mistook the Ukrainian aircraft with a cruise missile and made the decision to shoot at it without seeking approval from higher-ups in the aviation command.

Up to three years in prison were handed down to other individuals in the case.

The verdicts may be appealed during the following 20 days, the court declared.

The Ukrainian passenger plane was flying from Tehran to Kiev. It took off from Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA) in Tehran. The incident happened on January 8, 220.  The plane’s 176 passengers and crew were all killed.

The tragic incident happened five days after the United States assassinated Iranian anti-terror commander Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani near Baghdad International Airport.

On the night that the plane was downed, Iran fired several missiles at a U.S. air base in western Iraq in retaliation for the assassination. In such a highly sensitive situation the person had mistaken the civilian airplane with an invading missile.

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