UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS)
Iran announced on Tuesday that it made its first arrests in the case of shooting down the Ukrainian plane in Tehran last week after a third night of angry protests over the disaster.
At the same time, external pressure on Iran on the subject of the nuclear file is increasing, as the Europeans today announced directly the implementation of the settlement mechanism for the differences stipulated in the nuclear agreement with the aim of compelling Iran to abide by its obligations.
The Ukrainian plane was shot down by a missile shortly after take-off on Wednesday, killing 176 people on board. And after Tehran denied days of what was announced by Western countries about the downing of the Boeing 737 with a missile, the Iranian armed forces returned and admitted on Saturday morning their responsibility for the tragedy, speaking of a “human error”.
And the Iranian judiciary announced on Tuesday in a press conference about the arrests that took place in the plane’s case without specifying its number
“There have been extensive investigations and some people have been arrested,” said judiciary spokesman Ghulam Hussain Ismaili.
This comes shortly after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that Iran would punish all those responsible for shooting down the plane in a disaster that sparked angry demonstrations in a number of Iranian cities.
Rouhani said in a televised speech, “For our people, it is very important regarding this incident that anyone who was wrong or committed negligence at any level” be referred to the judiciary, adding that “all who should be punished will be punished.”
“The judiciary must form a special court headed by a high-ranking judge that includes dozens of experts. The whole world will look at this court of ours,” Rouhani added.
Iran has come under increasing international pressure to ensure that the investigation of the tragedy is complete and transparent.
The way the crisis was handled by the Iranian authorities has also infuriated Iranians.
Videos were published on social media on Monday, which could not be verified, indicating that there were demonstrations for the third consecutive day.
The plane, which was heading to Kiev, was shot down while the Iranian armed forces were on high alert after they fired missiles at a base used by the Americans in Iraq in response to an operation carried out by Washington in which they killed the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, Qassem Soleimani, on January 3, near Baghdad.
“America is the main reason behind all these events, and it is they that caused such events to happen, but this reason is not an excuse not to search for the causes of the accident in all its dimensions,” Rouhani said on Tuesday, according to the official Iranian news agency.
The president also asked the officials to explain why it took so long to announce the cause of the air disaster.
He said, “Officials must explain all the progress of the case from Wednesday morning to Friday, when the case was brought up in the Supreme National Security Council.”
“The most important of all this is to reassure our people that the accident will not be repeated. The most important issue for our people and the peoples of the world and air navigation is the non-recurrence of such incidents, which necessitates a review of internal regulations, instructions and controls.”
The majority of the 176 victims on board were Iranian and Canadian.
Iran has invited experts from Canada, France, Ukraine and the United States to participate in the investigation.
The Canadian Transport Safety Authority announced Monday night that its investigators, who will go to Tehran, will have access to the records of the black boxes of the crashed plane and the wreckage.
In Paris, the foreign ministers of France, Britain and Germany announced in a joint statement on Tuesday a mechanism for settling the differences stipulated in the nuclear agreement signed between Tehran and six major countries.
The ministers said, “Our three countries are not joining the campaign aimed at exerting maximum pressure on Iran,” indicating that they do not want to follow the US sanctions policy.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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