Iran blames ‘human error’ for missile attack on Ukrainian passenger jet

Published: 16 July 2020 - 3 a.m.
By: Aviation Business

The Civil Aviation Organisation of Iran (CAOI) has released a report which blames “human error” and poor military communication for the shooting down of a Ukraine International Airlines jet in January.

A UIA Boeing 737 was shot down by Iran’s military just after taking off from Tehran, killing all 176 passengers and crew.

Iran only admitted fault for the incident after pressure from Western intelligence mounted. Iran ceded that its military had mistaken the plane for a cruise missile.

The downing of the jet happened amid heightened tensions between the US and Iran after President Donald Trump ordered the assassination of a top Iranian general and Iran responded by attacking a US military base.

Excerpts from CAIO’s report, published by Fars, suggests that the UIA plane had been following a normal flight path but was mistaken for a hostile object because the air defence unit responsible had failed to calibrate its equipment correctly.

CAIO’s report added that the missile battery had fired on the aircraft without receiving official approval.

Six people are reported to have been arrested by Iranian authorities over the incident.

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