The Ukrainian plane that crashed near Tehran refuge earlier this week flew too close to a sensitive military location. The downing is due to a human error, according to a preliminary internal investigation by the Iranian army. A statement was read on the Iranian state television on Saturday. President Hassan Rouhani has apologized.

The responsible parties are called to account and will have to appear before the court of war, according to the statement, without going into details. With this, Iran admits that the Boeing 737-800 of Ukraine International Airlines was shot down by its own soldiers.

The aircraft is said to have made a sharp turn after taking off towards a military base of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, on which the anti-aircraft guns were probably accidentally put into operation.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says in a tweet that the Islamic Republic of Iran "deeply regrets this disastrous mistake".

The Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake. My thoughts and prayers go to all the mourning families. I offer my sincerest condolences. https://t.co/4dkePxupzm

Avatar Author Hasan Rouhani Moment of Places 04: 43 - January 11, 2020

"Human error made thanks to crisis caused by American adventurism"

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says in a tweet that the human error was made "during a crisis caused by American adventurism." The incident happened several hours after Iran shot at two Iraqi army bases where American soldiers were stationed, as revenge on the deadly American drone attack on General Qassem Soleimani.

A sad day. Preliminary conclusions of internal investigation by Armed Forces: Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disasterOur profound regrets, apologies and condolences to our people, to the families of all victims, and to other affected nations.đź’”

Avatar AuthorJZarifMoment of places04: 05 - 11 January 2020

Javad Zarif calls it a sad day and, like President Rouhani, apologizes. "Our sincere regrets, apologies and condolences to our people, to the families of the victims and to all the countries involved."

Iran previously claimed that the crash was caused by a technical defect on the plane.

Canada wants transparency, Canadian death toll adjusted

The government of Canada called for an extensive investigation on Saturday and warns Iran that the world is watching. "The international community wants transparency," said Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne during a press conference on Friday.

The minister also adjusted the number of Canadian victims who died in the disaster. Canada now assumes that 57 people from Canada were killed instead of the previously reported 63. "The situation is changeable," Champagne said the adjustment.

Iran showed the black box of the Ukrainian plane on the state television on Friday. They will download and examine the data themselves and say they need about a month or two for it. If it fails technically because the black box has been damaged too much, Tehran will seek help abroad, said Ali Abedzadeh, the head of the Iranian aviation authority.

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Moment when Iran would shoot Ukrainian plane captured

MIVD: "Ukrainian aircraft probably knocked down by anti-aircraft Iran"

A Boeing 737-800 from Ukraine International Airlines crashed in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday near the Iranian capital Tehran. All 176 passengers, including Iranians, Canadians and Afghans, were killed.

Various Western intelligence services, including those from the Netherlands, already consider it likely that the Ukrainian passenger plane that crashed in Iran was shot down by Iranian anti-aircraft defenses. The Dutch Military Intelligence and Security Service (MIVD) made this statement based on its own information. Abedzadeh of the Iranian aviation authority still denied this on Friday.

See also: Mankement or brought down? What we know about the plane crash in Iran

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  • Matthijs le Loux and Priscilla Slomp follow the news about Iran closely for NU.nl. Do you have questions about the news or tips for new stories? Let us know on our NUjij response platform so that we can get started. Thanks!