logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
star Bookmark: Tag Tag Tag Tag Tag
USA

Iran denies plane crash cover-up

Ebrahim Noroozi/AP
Ebrahim Noroozi/AP

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) says airlines should avoid flying over Iran at any altitude after the shooting down of the Ukraine International Airlines plane last week. 

“The risk of commercial airlines over Iran has been re-evaluated by the EASA and that was in coordination with the European Commission," said Stefan de Keersmaecker, a European Commission spokesman.

"In light of the latest recent statements from Iran that it’s armed forces accidentally shot down a Ukrainian passenger aircraft shortly after take-off from Tehran ... the recommendation in the current security climate is that overflight of Iran at all altitudes should be avoided until further notice, as a precautionary measure," he said.

“A new assessment will be made later this week,” de Keersmaecker added.

Kristoffer Tripplaar/Sipa/AP
Kristoffer Tripplaar/Sipa/AP

The CEO of a Canadian company affected by last week's plane crash near Tehran has lashed out against the Trump administration's handling of the crisis in relations between the United States and Iran.

Michael McCain, chief executive of Canadian food packaging company Maple Leaf Foods (MLFNF), said one of his colleagues lost his wife and 11-year-old son after Iranian forces shot down the Ukraine International Airlines jet Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board.

McCain said Sunday night in a series of tweets posted on his company's verified Twitter account that he believes President Donald Trump's actions in the Middle East were ultimately responsible for their deaths, describing them as "the collateral damage" of an "ill-conceived plan to divert attention from political woes."

Read the rest of the report here.

People gather for a candlelight vigil to remember the victims of the Ukraine plane crash in Tehran, Iran, on Saturday, January 11.
People gather for a candlelight vigil to remember the victims of the Ukraine plane crash in Tehran, Iran, on Saturday, January 11. Ebrahim Noroozi/AP

This new decade's consequential first weeks began with the United States openly targeting and killing a foreign military leader for the first time since World War II. They ended with the tragic, unintended cost of conflict -- Iran admitting it mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet, killing all 176 people on board.

In an extraordinary mea culpa on Iranian state television Saturday, the commander of the unit responsible said "I wished I was dead," when he realized that what his unit thought was a cruise missile was actually a plane.

Ukraine is demanding a full investigation and compensation for the victims -- mostly Iranian, Canadian and Ukrainian -- who died when the airliner was shot out of the sky, hours after Iran launched a number of missiles at two bases housing US troops in Iraq.

Now what? How are the families of the passengers and crew compensated for this unbearable loss? And how do US and Iranian government leaders, now in direct and open military confrontation for the first time since Iran's Islamic Revolution, map a route out of this crisis?

Read the rest of Amanpour's analysis here.

Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei.
Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei. STR/AFP/Getty Images

The Iranian government has denied allegations it tried to cover up the fact it accidentally shot down Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752.

Government spokesman Ali Rabiei said “that was not the case,” at a press conference Monday.

The government was only informed that the Boeing 737-800 was shot down on Friday, he added.

"I can say with certainty the president [Hassan Rouhani] as the head of the supreme national security council didn’t know about the incident until Friday afternoon,” Rabiei said.

Abbas Mousavi, spokesman for Iran's Foreign Ministry.
Abbas Mousavi, spokesman for Iran's Foreign Ministry. Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi has hit back after President Donald Trump tweeted his support of Iranian protesters in Farsi Saturday.

"Hands and tongues smeared with threatening, sanctioning and terrorizing the #Iranian nation, are not entitled to dishonor the ancient #Persian_language," wrote Mousavi in a direct reply to Trump's Farsi tweet

Trump sent a message to demonstrators in Iran following a day of protests in both English and Farsi.

“To the brave, long-suffering people of Iran: I've stood with you since the beginning of my Presidency, and my Administration will continue to stand with you,” Trump wrote.

“We are following your protests closely, and are inspired by your courage.”

Getty Images
Getty Images

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky that human error was to blame for last week's plane crash, according to the Ukrainian Foreign Minister.

“We had the conversation with the Iranian president when he tried to do his best explaining that it was the human error, that no one who is to be punished will escape the punishment," Vadym Prystaiko told British radio Monday morning.

"This is great to hear but we also discussed all the political repercussions and the problems and compensations to the victims of the plane…” he added.

Prystaiko also said that officials from five nations affected by the crash plan to meet in the UK soon.

“In two days I will see in London, we will have a meeting of the five ministers of foreign affairs of the grieving nations, where we will work out what our nations individually, and collectively, what steps were taken to bring the perpetrators to justice and how can we repay those families which suffered,” he said.

Getty Images
Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin expressed their shared desire to preserve Iran’s nuclear deal during a phone call Sunday, according to a statement released by the Elysee Monday.

“The two presidents expressed their common wish to preserve the framework of the JCPOA and call on Iran to return quickly to full compliance of its nuclear commitments,” the statement said.

Macron also spoke with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday.

“The French President expressed his condolences after the tragedy of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight PS 752, in which Iran has recognized its responsibility,” the statement said.

“He (Macron) confirmed to his counterpart France’s support and assistance in the investigation, so that light can be shed on the circumstances of the tragedy.”

Videos posted to social media from Iran appear to show that protests continued in Tehran, the capital, and other cities throughout the country, though CNN could not independently verify the images.

Several images showed protesters defacing posters with the likeness of Qasem Soleimani, the Iranian general killed by a US drone strike on January 3.

One video that appeared to be from Tehran showed people tearing apart a poster with Soleimani's image on it. Another showed what seems to be a billboard with his image being burned, while people cheer and shout "Soleimani is a murderer, his leader is also murderer,” a likely reference to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Footage that is said to be from the city of Kermanshah, in western Iran, shows a much more chaotic scene. Protesters appear to be clashing with Iran's security forces. At the beginning of the video, a flaming object flies in the direction of a crowd shouting "bi sharaf," a Farsi phrase which means "you have no honor."

Mourners chant while gathering during a vigil for the victims of the Ukraine International Airlines flight that was unintentionally shot down by Iran, in Tehran on Saturday.
Mourners chant while gathering during a vigil for the victims of the Ukraine International Airlines flight that was unintentionally shot down by Iran, in Tehran on Saturday. Bloomberg via Getty Images

Iran is facing widespread street protests after the government admitted that it accidentally shot down Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752.

Here are the latest developments:

Iranian President admits "human error" to blame: President Hassan Rouhani told his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky that human error was to blame for last week's plane crash, according to the Ukrainian Foreign Minister.

“We had the conversation with the Iranian president when he tried to do his best explaining that it was the human error, that no one who is to be punished will escape the punishment," Vadym Prystaiko told British radio Monday morning.

Tehran denies cover-up: The Iranian government has denied allegations it tried to cover up the fact it accidentally shot down the plane.

The government was only informed that the Boeing 737-800 was shot down on Friday, according to government spokesman Ali Rabiei.

Demonstrations in the streets: Iranians protested the deaths of those killed in the crash over the weekend.

"Death to the dictator," some chanted in the capital, Tehran, in footage posted on social media. In one video, demonstrators chanted: "Khamenei have shame. Leave the country."

Riot police used tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters in Tehran's Azadi Square Sunday, and protests spread to other cities, including Shiraz, Esfahan, Hamedan and Orumiyeh, Reuters reported.

Five foreign ministers to meet in London: Prystaiko also said that officials from five nations affected by the crash plan to meet in the UK soon.

“In two days I will see in London, we will have a meeting of the five ministers of foreign affairs of the grieving nations, where we will work out what our nations individually, and collectively, what steps were taken to bring the perpetrators to justice and how can we repay those families which suffered,” he said.

France and Russia want to preserve Iran nuclear deal: French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin expressed their shared desire to preserve Iran’s nuclear deal during a phone call Sunday, according to a statement released by the Elysee Monday.

“The two presidents expressed their common wish to preserve the framework of the JCPOA and call on Iran to return quickly to full compliance of its nuclear commitments,” the statement said.

Themes
ICO