Iran’s IRGC offer explanation for plane downing: Misidentified as cruise missile

Amir Ali Hajizadeh in an address broadcast by state TV. (Screen grab)

Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards offered an explanation and apology on Saturday for the shooting down of a Ukrainian airliner in Iran earlier this week, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Senior commander of the Aerospace Force of the Revolutionary Guards, Amir Ali Hajizadeh said in a press briefing on Saturday that the Ukrainian plane was misidentified as a cruise missile by an air Defense operator.

Hajizadeh also said Iranian authorities had been informed Wednesday that a civilian aircraft had been shot down by accident.

He partly blamed the Ukrainian plane downing on the US for spiking tension with Tehran.

All 176 people aboard the plane died in the crash.

Hajizadeh also said that the IRGC accepts full responsibility for the incident, in which the Ukraine airliner was shot down by a short-range missile, adding that he wished he “could die” when he heard about the accident.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that his government sought a full investigation and full cooperation from the Iranian authorities, in response to Iran’s statement that a missile shot down the Ukrainian airliner which had 57 Canadians on board.

Last Update: 10:55 KSA 13:55 - GMT 10:55