Tehran (IP)- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday the fact that Iran's armed forces have openly admitted their mistake and apologized to the Iranian people was a good first step.

Iran PressIran news: In further remarks, President Rouhani said: "As a father, I know how difficult it is to lose a highly-educated young person who has been an asset for our country and our nation and our people. The fact that our armed forces publicly admitted their mistake and apologized to the people was a good first step, and subsequent steps should be taken as well."

The president added: "I am more or less familiar with air defense, I stated that a single individual cannot be blamed for this tragic accident. It is not right to blame only the one who pressed the button, rather there are others, and I want this matter to be explained to the people honestly”. 

Rouhani said, "Our people know that this accident was the result of a mistake, but who was involved and what circumstances led to that air tragedy? Indeed, at this time the root of all grief goes back to the US. It was the US that inflamed the atmosphere and made the situation abnormal, threatened and took our loved ones from us; all this is true, but it does not mean that we should not address all the root causes of the incident”.

The president said: "Another question that the people are asking is why did it take such a long time for the Armed Forces to own up to their mistake ? Should it have taken a day or two, or should it have taken just a few hours? I also urge the authorities to explain to the public the whole process from Wednesday morning when the incident happened until Friday night when it reached the National Security Council emergency session.”

President Rouhani added: "Our people all share this grief but want to find out whether their officials have behaved properly and within the framework of ethics. I, as the representative of the Iranian nation and the President, will pursue this issue and inform the public of any outcome in the next steps.”

The president reiterated, "The incident is not a small one but the issue of security of Iran's atmosphere is important. It is not just the question of 176 people, but those who perished were very dear to us, but the security of Iran is very important to our nation and the wider world.”

Rouhani said, "It is very important for our people that whoever, at any level, was to blame should be introduced and whoever is to be punished, should be punished. The government considers itself responsible for the loss of precious lives of Iranian citizens as well as citizens of other countries and will perform all of its legal duties.”

The president added: "In my opinion, the most important thing is that people should be reassured that such incidents will not happen again. The most important thing for our people, the world's public opinion, aviation, and Iran’s airspace security is that the incident does not happen again, which requires revisions to regulations, military procedures and guidelines.”

Rouhani noted, "We are all responsible for revisiting all these rules once again to find out why this tragic incident happened in our country, what and where the shortcomings were. It is a tragic incident that I think is unprecedented in the history of our country.”

The President said: "So, in sympathy with all the dear families that have lost their loved ones, I declare that this process will continue until all aspects of the incident are investigated, all those involved are punished and we assure the people that such things will not happen again.”


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