Tehran denies any attempt on its part to conceal the issue of Ukrainian plane

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS)

Tehran on Monday denied any attempt to “cover up the issue” of accidentally shooting down the Ukrainian plane last Wednesday near the Iranian capital.

“In these sad days, criticism has been leveled at the country’s officials and authorities. Some officials have been accused of lying and of trying to conceal the issue, while in reality, frankly, this has not happened,” government spokesman Ali Rabei said at a press conference.

“The truth is that we did not lie. Lying means distorting the truth intentionally and knowingly. Lying means hiding information. Lying means realizing something and not saying it or distorting its truth,” he added.

He stressed that “what we said Thursday (…) was based on (…) on information provided to the entire government and did not mention the existence of any link between the incident and the firing of rockets.”

On Saturday, the Iranian authorities claimed responsibility for the disaster of the Ukrainian Airlines plane that shot down the dawn of January 8, after taking off from Tehran airport.

The Iranian Civil Aviation Authority and the government Thursday and Friday denied the hypothesis that the plane had been shot down by a missile, a hypothesis indicated by Canada on Wednesday.

176 people on board were killed, the majority of whom were Iranians and Canadians.

The announcement of the responsibility of the armed forces in the disaster sparked a shock in Iran and a wave of denunciations.

A ceremony honoring the victims at Tehran University on Saturday night turned into an anti-authorities demonstration, in which the protesters chanted “Death to liars”, before the police dispersed them.

On Sunday evening, Tehran also witnessed angry demonstrations, but it is difficult to estimate its size, according to videos posted on social media and it is not possible to verify its authenticity until now.

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