Plane tragedy infuriates protesters in Iran


Iran’s stunning admission that “unintentionally” rocketed the Ukrainian passenger plane, hours after launching rocket attacks on bases where US troops are stationed in Iraq, has drawn outrage and revolt across the country.

Iranians have staged protests across parts of the country to denounce what they call “pure carelessness” that resulted in the deaths of 176 people on board.

The plane’s tragedy came hours after Iran fired dozens of ballistic missiles at air bases housing US troops in Iraq in response to the killing of senior Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in a US drone attack near Baghdad airport on January 3.

After initially denying reports that one of its missiles had hit the passenger plane, Iran admitted that it had “unintentionally” fired the aircraft, calling it a “human error”.

While Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called the incident “an unforgivable mistake”, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) said the aircraft was registered as a US cruise missile after it had made its way to an important location. military.

“This is an unpardonable mistake, a major tragedy that could have been avoided had the necessary precautions been taken,” Sodabeh, a protestor in Tehran, told AA.

“In times of war, when you have launched a major military operation against your enemy, you simply cannot keep your airspace open and allow the flights to operate,” he said, calling for an impartial investigation and action. strict against responsible pressures

– Apologizing is not enough –

Another protester, Hisham, said that apologizing was not enough for this tragic incident.

“How can you justify killing 176 people because of a ‘mistake’? How can you explain this ‘human error’ to the families who lost their loved ones in this tragedy,” he said, adding that “this is simply there is no sense to them.”

Among the casualties were 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, 4 Afghans, 3 British and 3 Germans.

Demonstrations have reportedly continued in various cities in Iran since the plane incident.

People also express their anger and dissatisfaction through social media.

“I still can’t believe it. After the killing of General Soleimani, people were in a state of mourning, but that’s not the kind of ‘revenge’ we expected,” one user wrote on Instagram.

Commenting on the protests, US President Donald Trump backed the protests in Iran, calling it “brave and much-suffering Iranian people.”

“I have stayed with you since the beginning of my presidency and my administration will continue to stay with you. We are following your protests closely and are inspired by your courage,” he said.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has reportedly persuaded Trump to order the attack on Soleiman, said he stands with the Iranian people, who deserve “a better future”.

– Things that impress –

But Iranians do not seem too impressed by the support offered by US officials.

“The person who threatens to bomb Iranian cultural sites, which is a war crime, cannot be one who wishes good to the people of Iran,” said Ali Reza, a protester.

“We are sad and shocked about what happened, but we do not need the sympathy or support of Trump and his friends,” he added.

Pouya Alimagham, an Iranian-American historian and author at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), said Iranians have “every right to be angry and protest” and authorities in Iran must “hold themselves accountable”.

“But the US government has no credibility with Iran and has to look at its own affairs. Pompeo is strongly interfering with Iran’s internal affairs,” he said.


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