After Ukrainian International Airlines (UIA) Flight 752 crashed on Wednesday soon after taking off from Tehran’s international airport, speculation ran wild about the true cause of the tragedy
Iranian officials categorically denied accusations of a missile strike for several days, but finally confirmed Saturday morning that the aircraft was indeed the victim of an Iranian missile attack, albeit an unintentional one.
The plane carried 176 passengers, and all were killed in the crash. Most of the passengers were Ukrainian, Iranian, and Canadian citizens traveling to Kyiv, Ukraine. Breitbart reports:
A preliminary Iranian investigation concluded that the flight’s demise, occurring as Iran shot over a dozen ballistic missiles at presumed American targets in Iraq and missed them all, occurred as a result of mechanical failure – the engine caught fire and pressured the crew to attempt an emergency landing, which failed.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky both rejected the conclusion, pointing to videographic evidence that Iran had used a surface-to-air missile to shoot the plane down.
After an international outcry, the Iranian military issued a statement on Saturday taking responsibility for the crash.
“The plane was accidentally hit by a human error, which unfortunately results in the martyrdom of dear compatriots and the death of a number of foreign nationals,” the statement reads.
Iran continues to obfuscate
The Iranian government worked quickly to bulldoze the site of the crash, and a significant dispute has arisen over where the black boxes retrieved from the three-year-old Boeing 737-800 will end up for analysis.
Ali Abedzadeh, the head of Iran’s Aviation Organization, said on Friday that “We need special software and hardware which are available in our country, but if we fail to extract the data due to the damages of the black box, we will get help from other countries.”
Another Iranian official indicated that Russia could be one of the countries Iran reaches out to for help, which has ignited another controversy, as Iran has refused to allow Boeing itself to analyze the data.