Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed regret over the human error which caused the tragic crash of Ukraine Airlines plane and said those who committed such an unpardonable mistake will be sued and investigated.
The Iranian nation and the families of the victims will be informed of the results of the probes, the president said in a statement posted on its official website on Saturday morning.
A Ukraine Airlines aircraft crashed in southern Tehran on Wednesday morning (Jan 8). All 176 people aboard including nine crew members lost their lives.
"In an atmosphere of threats and intimidation by the aggressive American regime against the Iranian nation after the martyrdom of General Qasem Soleimani, and in order to defend ourselves against possible attacks by the American Army, the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran were on full alert, unfortunately leading to this terrible catastrophe which claimed lives of dozens of innocent people because of human error and an erroneous shooting," the statement noted.
"My thoughts and prayers go to all the mourning families. I offer my sincerest condolences," the President said stressing that the tragic event is not an issue that cannot be put aside easily.
The full text of the president's statement is as follows:
In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
We are all from Allah and to Him we shall return (Holy Quran)
Noble people of Iran
With the utmost regret and sorrow, hours ago I was informed of the outcome of the General Staff of the Armed Forces’ investigation into the Ukrainian passenger plane crash. In the atmosphere of threats and intimidation by the aggressive American regime against the Iranian nation after the martyrdom of General Qasem Soleimani, and in order to defend ourselves against possible attacks by the American Army, the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran were on full alert, which unfortunately led to this terrible catastrophe taking the lives of dozens of innocent people because of human error and mistaken shooting.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is deeply sorry by this disastrous mistake, and I extend my deepest condolences to the families of the victims of this tragic incident on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran and instruct all related organs to take all necessary measures to compensate and sympathize with the bereaved families. I also express my deep condolences and sympathy of the Iranian government to the nations, governments, and families of non-Iranian victims. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be in full consular cooperation to identify and return the bodies of victims to their families.
This painful accident is not something that can be easily overlooked. Further investigation is needed to identify all the causes and roots of this tragedy and prosecute the perpetrators of this unforgivable mistake and inform the honorable people of Iran and the families of the victims about it.
It is also necessary to adopt the required arrangements and measures to address the weaknesses of the country's defense systems to make sure such a disaster is never repeated.
Again, I extend my condolences to the families of the victims of this painful accident, praying for those who lost their lives and wishing their bereaved families patience and rewards.