- The report says it is looking at the "effect of the missile strikes" on the accidental crash.
- General Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the aerospace section of the IRGC, took full responsibility, but spoke of only one missile.
- The Civil Aviation Organization said it was unable to access flight information and cockpit recordings.
Iran confirmed on Tuesday that it fired two missiles on January 8 at Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752, a catastrophic error that caused the deaths of the 176 people that were on board. As per the contents of a preliminary report by the Civil Aviation Organisation of Iran (CAOI) released today, investigators who had access to military information “found that two Tor-M1 missiles were fired from the north at the plane.”
The Tor-M1 is a short-range surface-to-air missile developed by the former Soviet Union and specially designed to attack planes, helicopters, drones, or cruise missiles. The Ukrainian civilian plane had taken off from Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran to Kiev and crashed shortly after take off in a wasteland.
The report says it is looking at the “effect of the missile strikes” on the accidental crash. Information from the Civil Aviation Organisation of Iran confirms what was recently published by The New York Times. The newspaper authenticated a video showing two missiles launched at the aircraft.
The Iranian General Staff admitted on January 11, three days after the accident, the responsibility of its armed forces in the terrible accident. General Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the aerospace section of the Revolutionary Guard, Iran’s ideological army, took full responsibility, but spoke of only one missile. Aware that the eyes of the international community are fully focused on the accident, the Iranian government has promised to act quickly and transparently to clarify the facts.
The plane’s accidental downing sparked protests against the government in several Iranian cities for days with demonstrators calling the government a “liar,” and accusing it of wanting to cover up the truth. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani denied that the government intended to hide the truth from the people, and demanded “explanations” from the General Staff. On Friday, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said the demonstrations did not represent the feelings of the Iranian people, and accused the country’s “enemies” of using the accident for propaganda purposes with a sole aim of harming the Tehran government.
In its report, the Civil Aviation Organization said it was unable to access flight information and cockpit recordings, that is, the black boxes, as they were very sophisticated. It also suggested that Iran wants to keep the black boxes for now. Ukraine has asked Iran for the two black boxes, and Canada has said it wants them to be sent to France, or to Ukraine.
“If the material is delivered, the information (from the black boxes) can be restored and recovered in a short time,” said Iranian civil aviation. The body guaranteed that it asked its counterparts in France and the United States, BEA and NTSB, respectively, for material to read the information contained in the black boxes. No organization has “responded positively” so far, according to Iran.