Rouhani says Iran must 'punish' all responsible for air disaster

Elias Hubbard
January 14, 2020

On January 8, Iran launched several missiles against American bases in Iraq in retaliation to the USA killing of Soleimani.

Protesters, with students at the forefront, have held demonstrations against the establishment since Saturday, some met by a violent police crackdown.

A full picture of protests inside Iran is hard to obtain because of restrictions on independent media.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that everyone responsible for the accidental shooting down of a Ukrainian airliner last week must be punished.

He said when he learned about the downing of the plane, "I wished I was dead". He did not say how many individuals have been detained, or name them.

Most were Iranian and Canadian citizens.

"The announcement of the real cause of the Ukrainian plane crash took some time due to the necessity of examining all the possible theories, including "possible enemy actions in jamming, ' 'hacking of systems" 'infiltration, ' and other related factors", he said.

Trudeau has been careful to avoid blaming US President Donald Trump for the deaths of the passengers after Trump ordered the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Iran's top general, in a US airstrike in Baghdad.

Iran's authorities killed hundreds of protesters in November in what appears to have been the bloodiest crackdown on anti-government unrest since 1979.

Frustrated Iranians in Tehran and other cities across the country staged protests over the weekend, chanting anti-government slogans.

Videos posted late on Sunday recorded the gunfire around protests in Tehran's Azadi Square.

"At protests, police absolutely did not shoot because the capital's police officers have been given orders to show restraint", Hossein Rahimi, head of the Tehran police, said in a statement carried by the state broadcaster's website.

Rouhani called the government's admission that Iranian forces shot down the plane the "first good step".

Danilov said he had faith in his team's conclusions because it consisted of the same people who investigated the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukrainian skies in July 2014.

He said Ukraine's investigators believe the rocket that shot down the airliner was a Russian-made Tor missile. The US leader backed the anti-government protests in the Islamic Republic and promised to "continue to stand" with the Iranian people. "Innocents bear the brunt of it", Trudeau said in an interview with Global News Television. The U.S. did not tell Canada in advance it was planning on targeting Soleimani, and Trudeau said "obviously" he would have liked advance notice. The conflict is with the government, which is directly responsible for the deaths of scores of US forces in Iraq, as well as other regionally malign activity.

Iran responded with a barrage of missiles at two United States bases in Iraq, inflicting no casualties in what was seen as an attempt to prevent a spiral of escalation.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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