Iran air defense system fired at Ukrainian airliner without permission

Tehran (IP) - Tehran Military Prosecutor Gholam Abbas Torki on Monday explained some details about the case of Flight 752, the Ukrainian passenger plane that was mistakenly downed near Tehran in January 2020 and said that Iran's air defense system fired at Ukrainian airliner without permission.

Iran Press/Iran News: Stating that there has been no evidence of cyber and electronic hacking, external malfunctions in defense and missile systems, and intrusion into systems or networks so far, Torki said, "We have found no evidence of sabotage and espionage on the plane, and traces of missile fragments fired on the fuselage are evident."

"The plane exploded due to a collision with the ground and its parts were scattered to a large radius of the crash site. Due to the residential location, we encountered problems in terms of collecting aircraft parts and maintaining the scene," he added.

"The portable system which fired the missile did not accurately determine the real north after rebooting, and this great mistake caused the operator of the air defense system to see the plane on its radar as a target that is approaching Tehran from the northwestern region," he said.

Torki went on to say, "The operator of the air defense system notified the identified target to the relevant coordination center, but did not receive a response."

"Unfortunately, the operator fired while the connection was disconnected only for a few seconds," he said.

"The biggest mistake was that the system fired without receiving permission from the network," he stressed.

Torki noted, "The ones who made these mistakes were arrested."

The Tehran-Kyiv flight was unintentionally shot down by an Iranian air defense unit shortly after taking off from Tehran on January 8, killing all 176 passengers and crew members on board.

The Iranian operator was reported to have misidentified the plane as a cruise missile flying over Tehran.

The incident came as Iranian air defenses were at the highest level of alert following the country’s missile attacks against US bases in Iraq, which came in retaliation for Washington’s assassination of senior Iranian commander Lieutenant General Qasem Soleimani.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal Affairs Mohsen Baharvand said on Sunday that reading the black box of the Ukrainian plane will begin on July 20, under the supervision of an Iranian team in France.


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