Iran says plane crash investigation will be made public

Al-Monitor – Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami said the country’s investigation into the accidental shooting down of a passenger plane will be made public. “By the strict orders of the commander in chief [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] and the other heads of the government the dimensions of this bitter incident will be presented to the people,” Hatami said Jan. 23 at a ceremony commemorating the armed forces.

On Jan. 8, after Iran had launched missiles at the US Ain Al-Assad base in Iraq, surface-to-air missiles were launched at the Ukrainian plane, killing all 176 people on board. The Civil Aviation Organization of Iran later said that Russian-made Tor-M1 surface-to-air missiles were used in the accidental downing of the plane; the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said the plane had been mistaken for a US cruise missile.

The investigation should examine the reason the passenger plane was downed and why flights were not grounded after the Iranian missile strikes, which took place in retaliation for the US killing of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani. Hatami said, “The hard slap the [Iranian] armed forces gave American forces was conducted at the highest standards as far as timing, quality and precision of missiles.”

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