The Iranian president has issued a statement following an announcement by the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces admitting Iran unintentionally shot down the Ukrainian passenger plane that crashed near Tehran early Wednesday.
The full text of the statement follows.
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful,
We belong to Allah and to Him we shall be returned
Dear Iranian nation,
With a heavy heart full of sorrow, I learned hours ago about the findings of the investigation team of the General Staff of the Armed Forces about the crash of the Ukrainian passenger plane.
At a time when we faced threats and intimidation by the aggressive US regime against the Iranian nation after the martyrdom of General Soleimani, and in order to defend the country against possible attacks by the US military, the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran were on full alert, and unfortunately, human error and shooting by mistake led to a major disaster in which dozens of innocent people lost their lives.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is deeply saddened over this disastrous error, and I, on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran, express heartfelt condolences to the families of victims of this painful disaster, and order all pertinent institutions to adopt all necessary measures to compensate and condole with the families.
Moreover, while expressing deep sorrow, I extend condolences on behalf of the Iranian government to the nations, governments and families of non-Iranian victims. The [Iranian] Ministry of Foreign Affairs will offer full consular cooperation in order to identify and return the bodies of victims to their families.
This sorrowful incident is not an issue which can be easily condoned. Complementary investigations should be conducted to identify all causes and all those behind this disaster, and those who caused this unforgivable error must be prosecuted and the results should be announced to the noble Iranian nation and families of victims accordingly.
Also, it is required that necessary measures be adopted to remove the weak points of the country’s air defence systems, so that similar disasters will never ever happen again.
Once again I express condolences to the families of victims of this sorrowful incident and ask God Almighty to forgive the deceased and grant forbearance and divine reward to their families.
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran