Iran on January 14 has reportedly stated that it had arrested the person who posted a video online last week of a missile striking the Ukrainian jetliner. According to an international media report, the person, who was taken into custody by the elite Revolutionary Guards, will be facing charges related to national security. The Iranian judiciary also announced that they have also made the arrest of several people over the incident.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a televised speech further said that everyone responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian passenger plane must be punished. He further added that for the people of Iran it is very important that whoever responsible for the negligence at any level must be punished. After initially denying its involvement in the crash, Iran on January 11 admitted that it accidentally shot down the jetliner because of a human error.
Rouhani also said that a special court should be assembled comprising of ranking judges and dozens of experts. He described the incident a painful and unforgivable mistake and vowed that his administration would do everything in its power to uncover the truth.
Rouhani added that the person responsible was surely more than one person and all those found guilty should be punished. He also said that this was no ordinary case and that the whole world would be watching the case. Rouhani has called the Iranian admission of guilt with regards to shooting down the plane a 'first good step'.
Iran which earlier vehemently denied claims that they mistakenly shot down the jet and accused the United States of 'spreading lies' about intelligence suggesting they did, on January 11, acknowledged that it 'unintentionally' shot down the Ukrainian jetliner. A military statement carried by the state media said that the plane was mistaken for a “hostile target” after it turned towards a “sensitive military centre” of the Revolutionary Guard.
“The military was at its highest level of readiness amid heightened tensions with the US. In such a condition, because of human error and in an unintentional way, the flight was hit.” Iran apologised for the disaster and said it would upgrade its systems to prevent such mistakes in the future. The responsible parties would be referred to a judicial department within the military and held accountably, the military said.