The Iranian military did “well” by downing a civilian airliner in January, the spokesman for the parliament's legal and judicial committee said on Sunday, adding that no arrests have been made in relation to the incident, contrary to official claims.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) shot down a Ukraine International Airlines jet on January 8, killing all 176 onboard.
Iran claimed for days the plane crashed due to a “technical failure,” before admitting to shooting down the plane “accidentally.”
“The military forces carried out their duties well,” lawmaker Hassan Norouzi told the state-run Hamdeli daily. “The movement of the plane was very suspicious,” he added.
“The plane was no longer under the control of the watchtower and appeared to have come under America’s control,” Norouzi said while adding that “the plane was in Israel the week before and was tampered with.”
“The plane was set special targets in Iran,” he said. He did not elaborate on what the targets were.
“Given that the plane was being controlled by other countries, our military forces did their job well,” Norouzi said.
“Considering this evidence, it would be meaningless to arrest the individuals involved,” he said.
No arrests will be made, stressed Norouzi.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili had previously claimed that several individuals involved in the downing of the Ukrainian airliner have been arrested.
Iran insists flight PS752 was downed as a result of “human error.” Norouzi’s remarks, however, suggest the plane may have been targeted by the IRGC as part of a premeditated effort.
Iran is yet to hand over the black boxes from the downed plane for analysis.