In a statement ahead of the first anniversary of its downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane in Iranian airspace, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) blamed what it called “US adventurism” for the incident.
The IRGC’s statement, published Wednesday on its website, said the plane’s downing was a consequence of the “inhuman adventures and terrorist acts of the US in the region.”
“The Ukrainian plane crashed in war conditions following the US’ adventurism and terrorist crime and the subsequent missile strike on the terrorists’ base” in Iraq, the statement read, referring to the US killing of IRGC Commander Qassem Soleimani in Iraq on January 3, 2020, and Iran’s retaliatory attack on military bases in Iraq hosting US troops using ballistic missiles five days later.
The IRGC shot down the Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 on January 8, killing all 176 onboard, hours after the attack on US bases in Iraq.
After days of denying responsibility, Iran admitted to downing the plane on January 11, saying its military mistook the passenger plane for a cruise missile.
Iranian, Canadian, Ukrainian, British and Afghan nationals were killed in the crash.
Canada’s foreign minister recently said he does not believe Iranian claims that the plane was shot down as a result of “human error.”
Also on Wednesday, President Hassan Rouhani vowed that those responsible for the downing of the plane would “definitely” be tried in court.
The administration “insists on prosecuting the perpetrators in a fair trial,” Rouhani said in a cabinet meeting.
In the past year, there has been no mention of any trials for detainees in the case by the Iranian judiciary.
Last week, Iran’s cabinet allocated $150,000 for the families of each of the 176 victims of the plane, state media reported.