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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 88)

Iran Blames Human Error for Downing of Ukrainian Plane: Live Updates

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_166821423_cee7c765-85f7-4051-a580-d07974c2903b-articleLarge Iran Blames Human Error for Downing of Ukrainian Plane: Live Updates Zelensky, Volodymyr Zarif, Mohammad Javad Ukraine Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Pompeo, Mike Muhandis, Abu Mahdi al- (1954-2020) Iraq Iran Deaths (Fatalities) Canada Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 left Tehran’s international airport at 6:12 a.m. and lost contact two minutes later, according to a flight tracker.Credit…Ebrahim Noroozi/Associated Press

After maintaining for days that there was no evidence that one of its missiles had struck a Boeing 737-800 minutes after it took off from Tehran on Wednesday with 176 people on board, Iran admitted early on Saturday that its military had accidentally shot down the passenger jet.

The military blamed human error. In a statement, it said the plane had taken a sharp, unexpected turn that brought it near a sensitive military base.

In post on Twitter, Iran’s foreign minister, Mohamad Javad Zarif, apologized but appeared to blame American “adventurism” for the tragedy, writing: “Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster.”

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who had been informed about the accidental shooting down, said information should be publicly announced after a meeting of Iran’s top security body, the semiofficial Fars news agency said on Twitter.

President Hassan Rouhani said on Twitter that Iran “deeply regrets this disastrous mistake.”

In a statement cited by the semiofficial Fars News Agency, the president offered condolences to the victims’ families and said that “the terrible catastrophe should be thoroughly investigated.” He added that those responsible for “this unforgivable mistake” would be identified and “prosecuted.”

But he also said that in an environment of military threats and terror by the United States’ “aggressive” government against the people of Iran, and facing the possibility of American military strikes on Iran, the armed forces made a “human mistake and misfired” and “it led to a big catastrophe and innocent people were killed.”

“This painful incident is not something we can easily overcome,” he added, saying that was imperative to is correct any shortcomings in the country’s defense mechanism and ensure such a tragedy would not happen again.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, in his first reaction to Iran’s announcement, said Kyiv would “insist on a full admission of guilt” by Tehran.

“We expect Iran to assure its readiness for a full and open investigation, to bring those responsible to justice, to return the bodies of the victims, to pay compensation, and to make official apologies through diplomatic channels,” Mr. Zelensky said in a post on his Facebook page. “We hope that the investigation will continue without artificial delays and obstacles.”

Mr. Zelensky had come under domestic criticism this week for refusing to publicly blame Iran for the disaster even as the United States, Canada and Britain did. Instead, he dispatched a team of specialists to Tehran who sought to work alongside Iranians in studying the crash site. He implored the public to avoid speculating about the cause of the disaster.

Later, the office of the Ukrainian president posted on Facebook photos of what it said was shrapnel damage on the plane wreckage and a Canadian man’s passport showing piercings about half an inch in diameter.

Mr. Zelensky’s office said on Saturday that Iran had cooperated in Ukraine’s investigation of the crash and that Ukraine’s investigators had “received all of the necessary information from the beginning.”

It was now clear, Mr. Zelensky’s office said, that the investigation would be conducted fairly.

“Based on the information collected so far, thanks to the work of our group of experts, we have received enough information to know that the investigation will be conducted objectively and expeditiously,” Mr. Zelensky’s office said. “The political portion of the work is concluded. Our specialists continue to work in order to carry out all necessary legal procedures.”

Iran’s announcement on Saturday vindicated Mr. Zelensky’s cautious approach, said Ivan Yakovina, a columnist for the Kyiv-based magazine Novoye Vremya.

“If there had been threats from Ukraine, then I believe Iran wouldn’t have allowed the specialists to do their jobs and generally would have refused to admit guilt,” he said.

Later, a commander of the aerospace force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Amirali Hajizadeh, said in a televised address that he accepted responsibility for the plane’s shooting down minutes after takeoff, according to Iranian state TV.

He said the passenger jet had been misidentified as a cruise missile, and had been shot down with a short-range missile that exploded near the plane.

“I wish I was dead,” Mr. Hajizadeh was quoted as saying by local news outlets. “I accept all responsibility for this incident.”

He said that whatever decision the authorities made, “I will accept with the arms open.”

Iranians expressed fury toward their government in the first hours after Tehran’s admission, even as many planned to gather in main squares around town with candles at 5 p.m. Saturday local time.

Conservatives and supporters of the government accused the authorities of intentionally misleading the public initially about what had brought down the plane, whose passengers included many young Iranians on their way to Canada for graduate study.

The semiofficial Fars News Agency, which is affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, posted a harsh commentary condemning Iran’s leaders, saying “their shortcomings have made this tragedy twice as bitter.”

“It is pivotal that those who were hiding the truth from the public for the past 72 hours be held accountable, we cannot let this go,” it read.

“Individuals, media, political and military officials who commented in the past 72 hours must be investigated. If they knew of the truth and were deliberately speaking falsehood or for any reason were trying to hide it, they must be prosecuted, no matter what post they hold.”

Westlake Legal Group iran-tehran-airport-crash-flights-promo-1578698739538-articleLarge Iran Blames Human Error for Downing of Ukrainian Plane: Live Updates Zelensky, Volodymyr Zarif, Mohammad Javad Ukraine Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Pompeo, Mike Muhandis, Abu Mahdi al- (1954-2020) Iraq Iran Deaths (Fatalities) Canada Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

Flights In and Out of Tehran Continued After Missile Strikes and Plane Crash

Planes took off after Iran’s missile strikes on bases in Iraq, and even after a Ukrainian plane crashed shortly after takeoff.

Siamak Ghaesmi, a Tehran-based economist, addressed the country’s leaders in an Instagram post: “I don’t know what to do with my rage and grief. I’m thinking of all the ‘human errors’ in these years that were never revealed because there was no international pressure.

I’m thinking of the little trust left that was shattered. I’m thinking of the innocent lives lost because of confronting and being stubborn with the world. What have you done with us?”

Mohamad Saeed Ahadian, a conservative analyst in Iran, said on Twitter, “There are two major problems with the Ukrainian Airlines issue. One is firing at an airplane and two is firing at the public’s trust. The first can be justified but the latter is a mistake with absolutely no justification.”

Some social media posts made use of the term “harsh revenge,” which Iran’s leaders had promised to inflict on the United States for the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, a top Revolutionary Guards commander, in a drone strike last week.

Mojtaba Fathi, an Iranian journalist, wrote on Twitter, “They were supposed to take their harsh revenge against America, not the people.”

Video

Westlake Legal Group xxivid-iran-plane-2-square640 Iran Blames Human Error for Downing of Ukrainian Plane: Live Updates Zelensky, Volodymyr Zarif, Mohammad Javad Ukraine Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Pompeo, Mike Muhandis, Abu Mahdi al- (1954-2020) Iraq Iran Deaths (Fatalities) Canada Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

The New York Times has obtained and verified video showing the moment a Ukrainian airliner was hit in Iran.CreditCredit…Screenshot from video

International pressure had been building on Iran to take responsibility. American and allied officials had said that all intelligence assessments indicated that surface-to-air missiles fired by Iranian military forces had shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752.

Hours after the crash, Ukraine International Airlines officials had consistently ruled out pilot error or mechanical problems as the cause of the crash. They had said the Boeing 737-800, which was less than four years old, was helmed by some of the airline’s most experienced crew.

“We never thought for a second that our crew and our plane could have been the reason for this terrible, horrific aviation catastrophe,” the airline’s president, Yevhenii Dykhne, said in a Facebook post on Saturday after Iran’s admission. “These were our best young men and women. The best.”

There was no immediate reaction from the United States to Iran’s admission, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had been the first American official to publicly confirm the intelligence assessments.

“We do believe that it’s likely that the plane was shot down by an Iranian missile,” Mr. Pompeo said at a briefing at the White House announcing new sanctions against Iran on Friday.

The crash occurred days after the American drone strike that killed General Suleimani and an Iraqi militia leader, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, as they left the airport in Baghdad. The general’s killing sent shock waves through the Middle East and led to calls for revenge in Iran, as well as a vote by Iraq’s Parliament to oust American troops from that country.

Iran responded to the drone strike by firing a barrage of ballistic missiles at two American bases in Iraq. But the missiles caused little damage and no American or Iraqi casualties, President Trump and Iraqi officials said.

President Justin Trudeau of Canada, who has said his country expects to play a big role in Iran’s investigation of the airliner crash that killed 63 Canadians even though the two nations do not have diplomatic ties, said on Saturday that “closure, accountability” were needed after Iran’s admission, according to a statement from his office.

“Our focus remains closure, accountability, transparency and justice for the families and loved ones of the victims,” the statement said. “This is a national tragedy, and all Canadians are mourning together.

“We will continue working with our partners around the world to ensure a complete and thorough investigation, and the Canadian government expects full cooperation from Iranian authorities.”

The 176 people who died on the flight included 57 Canadians, many of them students or faculty at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. About 27 residents of Edmonton were on the plane.

In Canada, Iranians are comparative newcomers: Most arrived after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Today, by some counts, Canada has the third-largest number of expatriate Iranians in the world and its universities are a top destination for Iranian graduate students.

Canada broke off diplomatic relations with Iran in 2012, but Mr. Trudeau said on Wednesday that Canada’s foreign minister, Francois-Philippe Champagne, would contact his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, to underline the need for a proper inquiry.

Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the foreign relations committee in the Russian Senate, said Iran’s admission showed the downing of the plane had been a “tragic incident” and should not lead to further escalation between Iran and the West.

“It was a tragic incident; people cannot be returned,” Mr. Kosachev told the Interfax news agency. “The admission of error, although not immediately, and expression of condolences is sufficient to be accepted. With this, the incident should be closed.”

All sides should “learn lessons” from what happened, he said. The disaster “became possible in conditions of real danger of repeat American strikes, this time on Iranian territory, though this in no way justifies the mistake.”

Mr. Kosachev also pushed back on reports that the missile used to strike the plane had been Russian-made. He did not deny the missile’s origin, but rejected any Russian responsibility for what had happened. “There’s an effort to keep playing the Russian card,” he said, “and at the height of this tragedy, it is absolutely immoral.”

American intelligence officials have said that a Russian-made missile system designated SA-15 by NATO and known in Russia as the Tor struck the civilian airliner shortly after takeoff.

The Tor system is a mobile missile launch system, with eight missiles carried on either a tracked vehicle or a truck. The vehicles can operate without relying on other air defense infrastructure: They carry both a radar to detect targets and a launch system. The low- to medium- altitude missiles were developed by Soviet engineers in the 1970s as a so-called lower-tier air defense weapon.

The Tor was designed to protect the airspace over a small area, such as above army formations or columns of tanks against a wide range of threats, including airplanes, helicopters, drones or missiles. The Russian military, for example, uses the Tor system at its air base in Syria to shoot down small, improvised drones made by Syrian rebels.

Russia sold the Tor systems to Iran in 2005 as part of a $1 billion arms deal and over the objection of American diplomats. It has also sold the system to more than a dozen other countries. The foreign sales create economies of scale in Russia’s military industry, helping to underwrite research and development costs.

Reporting was contributed by Farnaz Fassihi, Anton Troianovski, Ian Austen, Andrew Kramer, Christiaan Triebert and Ivan Nechepurenko.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Iran Says Downing of Plane Was a ‘Disastrous Mistake’: Live Updates

Here’s what you need to know:

Video

Westlake Legal Group xxivid-iran-plane-2-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Iran Says Downing of Plane Was a ‘Disastrous Mistake’: Live Updates Zelensky, Volodymyr Zarif, Mohammad Javad Ukraine Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Pompeo, Mike Muhandis, Abu Mahdi al- (1954-2020) Iraq Iran Deaths (Fatalities) Canada Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

The New York Times has obtained and verified video showing the moment a Ukrainian airliner was hit in Iran.CreditCredit…Screenshot from video

After maintaining for days that there was no evidence that one of its missiles had struck a Boeing 737-800 minutes after it took off from Tehran on Wednesday with 176 people on board, Iran admitted early on Saturday that its military had accidentally shot down the passenger jet.

The military blamed human error. In a statement, it said the plane had taken a sharp, unexpected turn that brought it near a sensitive military base.

In post on Twitter, Iran’s foreign minister, Mohamad Javad Zarif, apologized but appeared to blame American “adventurism” for the tragedy, writing: “Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster.”

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who had been informed about the accidental shooting down, said information should be publicly announced after a meeting of Iran’s top security body, the semiofficial Fars news agency said on Twitter.

President Hassan Rouhani said on Twitter that Iran “deeply regrets this disastrous mistake.”

In a statement cited by the semiofficial Fars News Agency, the president offered condolences to the victims’ families and said that “the terrible catastrophe should be thoroughly investigated.” He added that those responsible for “this unforgivable mistake” would be identified and “prosecuted.”

But he also said that in an environment of military threats and terror by the United States’ “aggressive” government against the people of Iran, and facing the possibility of American military strikes on Iran, the armed forces made a “human mistake and misfired” and “it led to a big catastrophe and innocent people were killed.”

“This painful incident is not something we can easily overcome,” he added, saying that was imperative to is correct any shortcomings in the country’s defense mechanism and ensure such a tragedy would not happen again.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, in his first reaction to Iran’s announcement, said Kyiv would “insist on a full admission of guilt” by Tehran.

“We expect Iran to assure its readiness for a full and open investigation, to bring those responsible to justice, to return the bodies of the victims, to pay compensation, and to make official apologies through diplomatic channels,” Mr. Zelensky said in a post on his Facebook page. “We hope that the investigation will continue without artificial delays and obstacles.”

Mr. Zelensky had come under domestic criticism this week for refusing to publicly blame Iran for the disaster even as the United States, Canada and Britain did. Instead, he dispatched a team of specialists to Tehran who sought to work alongside Iranians in studying the crash site. He implored the public to avoid speculating about the cause of the disaster.

Iran’s announcement on Saturday vindicated Mr. Zelensky’s cautious approach, said Ivan Yakovina, a columnist for the Kyiv-based magazine Novoye Vremya. “If there had been threats from Ukraine, then I believe Iran wouldn’t have allowed the specialists to do their jobs and generally would have refused to admit guilt,” he said.

Iranians expressed fury toward their government in the first hours after Tehran’s admission, even as many planned to gather in main squares around town with candles at 5 p.m. Saturday local time.

Conservatives and supporters of the government accused the authorities of intentionally misleading the public initially about what had brought down the plane, whose passengers included many young Iranians on their way to Canada for graduate study.

The semiofficial Fars News Agency, which is affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, posted a harsh commentary condemning Iran’s leaders, saying “their shortcomings have made this tragedy twice as bitter.”

“It is pivotal that those who were hiding the truth from the public for the past 72 hours be held accountable, we cannot let this go,” it read.

“Individuals, media, political and military officials who commented in the past 72 hours must be investigated. If they knew of the truth and were deliberately speaking falsehood or for any reason were trying to hide it, they must be prosecuted, no matter what post they hold.”

Westlake Legal Group iran-tehran-airport-crash-flights-promo-1578698739538-articleLarge Iran Says Downing of Plane Was a ‘Disastrous Mistake’: Live Updates Zelensky, Volodymyr Zarif, Mohammad Javad Ukraine Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Pompeo, Mike Muhandis, Abu Mahdi al- (1954-2020) Iraq Iran Deaths (Fatalities) Canada Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

Flights In and Out of Tehran Continued After Missile Strikes and Plane Crash

Planes took off after Iran’s missile strikes on bases in Iraq, and even after a Ukrainian plane crashed shortly after takeoff.

Siamak Ghaesmi, a Tehran-based economist, addressed the country’s leaders in an Instagram post: “I don’t know what to do with my rage and grief. I’m thinking of all the ‘human errors’ in these years that were never revealed because there was no international pressure.

I’m thinking of the little trust left that was shattered. I’m thinking of the innocent lives lost because of confronting and being stubborn with the world. What have you done with us?”

Mohamad Saeed Ahadian, a conservative analyst in Iran, said on Twitter, “There are two major problems with the Ukrainian Airlines issue. One is firing at an airplane and two is firing at the public’s trust. The first can be justified but the latter is a mistake with absolutely no justification.”

Some social media posts made use of the term “harsh revenge,” which Iran’s leaders had promised to inflict on the United States for the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, a top Revolutionary Guards commander, in a drone strike last week.

Mojtaba Fathi, an Iranian journalist, wrote on Twitter, “They were supposed to take their harsh revenge against America, not the people.”

Mohsen Moghadaszadeh, a cleric from Qom, tweeted: “If there were loved ones of the highest officials on that plane would you have committed a similar mistake? If the answer is yes then your apology is accepted. If no then apology is not enough.”

International pressure had been building on Iran to take responsibility. American and allied officials had said that all intelligence assessments indicated that surface-to-air missiles fired by Iranian military forces had shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752.

Hours after the crash, Ukraine International Airlines officials had consistently ruled out pilot error or mechanical problems as the cause of the crash. They had said the Boeing 737-800, which was less than four years old, was helmed by some of the airline’s most experienced crew.

“We never thought for a second that our crew and our plane could have been the reason for this terrible, horrific aviation catastrophe,” the airline’s president, Yevhenii Dykhne, said in a Facebook post on Saturday after Iran’s admission. “These were our best young men and women. The best.”

There was no immediate reaction from the United States to Iran’s admission, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had been the first American official to publicly confirm the intelligence assessments.

“We do believe that it’s likely that the plane was shot down by an Iranian missile,” Mr. Pompeo said at a briefing at the White House announcing new sanctions against Iran on Friday.

The crash occurred days after the American drone strike that killed General Suleimani and an Iraqi militia leader, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, as they left the airport in Baghdad. The general’s killing sent shock waves through the Middle East and led to calls for revenge in Iran, as well as a vote by Iraq’s Parliament to oust American troops from that country.

Iran responded to the drone strike by firing a barrage of ballistic missiles at two American bases in Iraq. But the missiles caused little damage and no American or Iraqi casualties, President Trump and Iraqi officials said.

President Justin Trudeau of Canada, who has said his country expects to play a big role in Iran’s investigation of the airliner crash that killed 63 Canadians even though the two nations do not have diplomatic ties, said on Saturday that “closure, accountability” were needed after Iran’s admission, according to local news reports.

The 176 people who died on the flight included 57 Canadians, many of them students or faculty at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. About 27 residents of Edmonton were on the plane.

In Canada, Iranians are comparative newcomers: Most arrived after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Today, by some counts, Canada has the third-largest number of expatriate Iranians in the world and its universities are a top destination for Iranian graduate students.

Canada broke off diplomatic relations with Iran in 2012, but Mr. Trudeau said on Wednesday that Canada’s foreign minister, Francois-Philippe Champagne, would contact his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, to underline the need for a proper inquiry.

“Canada is one of a handful of countries with a high degree of expertise when it comes to these sorts of accidents and therefore we have much to contribute,” Mr. Trudeau said at a news conference in Ottawa.

“I am confident that in our engagement both through our allies and directly, we are going to make sure that we are a substantive contributor to this investigation.”

Reporting was contributed by Farnaz Fassihi, Anton Troianovski, Ian Austen and Andrew Kramer.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Iran Says Downing of Plane Was ‘Disastrous Mistake’: Live Updates

Here’s what you need to know:

Video

Westlake Legal Group xxivid-iran-plane-2-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Iran Says Downing of Plane Was ‘Disastrous Mistake’: Live Updates Zelensky, Volodymyr Zarif, Mohammad Javad Ukraine Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Pompeo, Mike Muhandis, Abu Mahdi al- (1954-2020) Iraq Iran Deaths (Fatalities) Canada Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

The New York Times has obtained and verified video showing the moment a Ukrainian airliner was hit in Iran.CreditCredit…Screenshot from video

After maintaining for days that there was no evidence that one of its missiles had struck a Boeing 737-800 minutes after it took off from Tehran on Wednesday with 176 people on board, Iran admitted early on Saturday that its military had accidentally shot down the passenger jet.

The military blamed human error. In a statement, it said the plane had taken a sharp, unexpected turn that brought it near a sensitive military base.

In post on Twitter, Iran’s foreign minister, Mohamad Javad Zarif, apologized but appeared to blame American “adventurism” for the tragedy, writing: “Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster.”

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who had been informed about the accidental shooting down, said information should be publicly announced after a meeting of Iran’s top security body, the semiofficial Fars news agency said on Twitter.

President Hassan Rouhani said on Twitter that Iran “deeply regrets this disastrous mistake.”

In a statement cited by the semiofficial Fars News Agency, the president offered condolences to the victims’ families and said that “the terrible catastrophe should be thoroughly investigated.” He added that those responsible for “this unforgivable mistake” would be identified and “prosecuted.”

But he also said that in an environment of military threats and terror by the United States’ “aggressive” government against the people of Iran, and facing the possibility of American military strikes on Iran, the armed forces made a “human mistake and misfired” and “it led to a big catastrophe and innocent people were killed.”

“This painful incident is not something we can easily overcome,” he added, saying that was imperative to is correct any shortcomings in the country’s defense mechanism and ensure such a tragedy would not happen again.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, in his first reaction to Iran’s announcement, said Kyiv would “insist on a full admission of guilt” by Tehran.

“We expect Iran to assure its readiness for a full and open investigation, to bring those responsible to justice, to return the bodies of the victims, to pay compensation, and to make official apologies through diplomatic channels,” Mr. Zelensky said in a post on his Facebook page. “We hope that the investigation will continue without artificial delays and obstacles.”

Mr. Zelensky had come under domestic criticism this week for refusing to publicly blame Iran for the disaster even as the United States, Canada and Britain did. Instead, he dispatched a team of specialists to Tehran who sought to work alongside Iranians in studying the crash site. He implored the public to avoid speculating about the cause of the disaster.

Iran’s announcement on Saturday vindicated Mr. Zelensky’s cautious approach, said Ivan Yakovina, a columnist for the Kyiv-based magazine Novoye Vremya. “If there had been threats from Ukraine, then I believe Iran wouldn’t have allowed the specialists to do their jobs and generally would have refused to admit guilt,” he said.

Iranians expressed fury in the first hours after the admission. Even conservatives and supporters of the government accused the authorities of having intentionally misled the public about what had brought down the plane, whose passengers included many young Iranians on their way to Canada for graduate study.

The semiofficial Fars News Agency, which is affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, posted a harsh commentary condemning Iran’s leaders, saying “their shortcomings have made this tragedy twice as bitter.”

“It is pivotal that those who were hiding the truth from the public for the past 72 hours be held accountable, we cannot let this go,” it read.

“Individuals, media, political and military officials who commented in the past 72 hours must be investigated. If they knew of the truth and were deliberately speaking falsehood or for any reason were trying to hide it, they must be prosecuted, no matter what post they hold.”

Westlake Legal Group iran-tehran-airport-crash-flights-promo-1578698739538-articleLarge Iran Says Downing of Plane Was ‘Disastrous Mistake’: Live Updates Zelensky, Volodymyr Zarif, Mohammad Javad Ukraine Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Pompeo, Mike Muhandis, Abu Mahdi al- (1954-2020) Iraq Iran Deaths (Fatalities) Canada Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

Flights In and Out of Tehran Continued After Missile Strikes and Plane Crash

Planes took off after Iran’s missile strikes on bases in Iraq, and even after a Ukrainian plane crashed shortly after takeoff.

Siamak Ghaesmi, a Tehran-based economist, addressed the country’s leaders in an Instagram post: “I don’t know what to do with my rage and grief. I’m thinking of all the ‘human errors’ in these years that were never revealed because there was no international pressure.

“I’m thinking of the little trust left that was shattered. I’m thinking of the innocent lives lost because of confronting and being stubborn with the world. What have you done with us?”

Mohamad Saeed Ahadian, a conservative analyst in Iran, said on Twitter, “There are two major problems with the Ukrainian Airlines issue. One is firing at an airplane and two is firing at the public’s trust. The first can be justified but the latter is a mistake with absolutely no justification.”

Some social media posts made use of the term “harsh revenge,” which Iran’s leaders had promised to inflict on the United States for the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, a top Revolutionary Guards commander, in a drone strike last week.

Mojtaba Fathi, an Iranian journalist, wrote on Twitter, “They were supposed to take their harsh revenge against America, not the people.”

Mohsen Moghadaszadeh, a cleric from Qom, tweeted: “If there were loved ones of the highest officials on that plane would you have committed a similar mistake? If the answer is yes then your apology is accepted. If no then apology is not enough.”

International pressure had been building on Iran to take responsibility. American and allied officials had said that all intelligence assessments indicated that surface-to-air missiles fired by Iranian military forces had shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752.

There was no immediate reaction from the United States to Iran’s admission, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had been the first American official to publicly confirm the intelligence assessments.

“We do believe that it’s likely that the plane was shot down by an Iranian missile,” Mr. Pompeo said at a briefing at the White House announcing new sanctions against Iran on Friday. “We’re going to let the investigation play out before we make a final determination. It’s important that we get to the bottom of it.”

The crash occurred days after the American drone strike that killed General Suleimani and an Iraqi militia leader, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, as they left the airport in Baghdad. The general’s killing sent shock waves through the Middle East and led to calls for revenge in Iran, as well as a vote by Iraq’s Parliament to oust American troops from that country.

Iran responded to the drone strike by firing a barrage of ballistic missiles at two American bases in Iraq. But the missiles caused little damage and no American or Iraqi casualties, President Trump and Iraqi officials said.

Farnaz Fassihi, Anton Troianovski and Andrew Kramer contributed reporting.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Live Updates: Iran Says Downing of Plane Was ‘Disastrous Mistake’

Here’s what you need to know:

Video

Westlake Legal Group xxivid-iran-plane-2-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Live Updates: Iran Says Downing of Plane Was ‘Disastrous Mistake’ Zelensky, Volodymyr Zarif, Mohammad Javad Ukraine Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Pompeo, Mike Muhandis, Abu Mahdi al- (1954-2020) Iraq Iran Deaths (Fatalities) Canada Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

The New York Times has obtained and verified video showing the moment a Ukrainian airliner was hit in Iran.CreditCredit…Screenshot from video

After maintaining for days that there was no evidence that one of its missiles had struck a Boeing 737-800 minutes after it took off from Tehran on Wednesday with 176 people on board, Iran admitted early on Saturday that it had accidentally shot down the passenger jet.

The Iranian military blamed human error. In a statement, it said the plane had taken a sharp, unexpected turn that brought it near a sensitive military base.

In post on Twitter, Iran’s foreign minister, Mohamad Javad Zarif, apologized but appeared to blame American “adventurism” for the tragedy, writing: “Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster.”

President Hassan Rouhani said on Twitter that Iran “deeply regrets this disastrous mistake.”

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, in his first reaction to Iran’s announcement, said Kyiv would “insist on a full admission of guilt” by Tehran.

“We expect Iran to assure its readiness for a full and open investigation, to bring those responsible to justice, to return the bodies of the victims, to pay compensation, and to make official apologies through diplomatic channels,” Mr. Zelensky said in a post on his Facebook page. “We hope that the investigation will continue without artificial delays and obstacles.”

Mr. Zelensky came under domestic criticism this week for refusing to publicly blame Iran for the disaster even as the United States, Canada and Britain did. Instead, Mr. Zelensky dispatched a team of specialists to Tehran who sought to work alongside Iranians in studying the crash site. He implored the public to avoid speculating about the cause of the disaster.

Iran’s announcement on Saturday vindicated Mr. Zelensky’s cautious approach, said Ivan Yakovina, a columnist for the Kyiv-based magazine Novoye Vremya. “If there had been threats from Ukraine, then I believe Iran wouldn’t have allowed the specialists to do their jobs and generally would have refused to admit guilt,” he said.

Iranians expressed fury in the first hours after the admission, with even conservatives and supporters of the government accusing the authorities of having intentionally misled the public.

The semiofficial Fars News Agency, which is affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards Corps, posted a harsh commentary condemning Iran’s leaders, saying “their shortcomings have made this tragedy twice as bitter.”

“It is pivotal that those who were hiding the truth from the public for the past 72 hours be held accountable, we cannot let this go,” it read. “Individuals, media, political and military officials who commented in the past 72 hours must be investigated. If they knew of the truth and were deliberately speaking falsehood or for any reason were trying to hide it, they must be prosecuted, no matter what post they hold.”

International pressure had been building on Iran to take responsibility. American and allied officials had said that all intelligence assessments indicated that surface-to-air missiles fired by Iranian military forces had shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752.

The crash occurred days after the United States launched a drone strike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, a top commander in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps. and an Iraqi militia leader, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, as they left the airport in Baghdad.

The killings sent shock waves through the Middle East and led to calls for revenge in Iran, as well as a vote by Iraq’s Parliament to oust American troops from that country. Iran responded by firing a barrage of ballistic missiles at two American bases in Iraq. But the missiles caused little damage and no American or Iraqi casualties, President Trump and Iraqi officials said.

Farnaz Fassihi, Anton Troianovski and Andrew Kramer contributed reporting.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Iran Is Expected to Announce Cause of Ukrainian Jet Crash

Westlake Legal Group 10dc-crash1-facebookJumbo Iran Is Expected to Announce Cause of Ukrainian Jet Crash Zelensky, Volodymyr United States International Relations Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 Ukraine Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Pompeo, Mike Missiles and Missile Defense Systems Iran Defense and Military Forces Canada Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

Iranian officials plan to meet with international investigators on Saturday and announce the cause of the Ukrainian jetliner crash near Tehran this week that killed all 176 aboard, Iran’s semiofficial Fars News Agency reported on Friday, capping a day of international recriminations.

The announcement comes amid a global race to answer the many questions surrounding the Wednesday crash. American and allied intelligence assessments have suggested that Iranian missiles brought down the plane, most likely by accident, amid the heightened tensions between the United States and Iran. On Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo became the first American official to publicly confirm the disclosures.

“We do believe that it’s likely that the plane was shot down by an Iranian missile,” he said at a briefing at the White House to announce new sanctions against Iran in response to its firing of ballistic missiles at American targets in Iraq this week. “We’re going to let the investigation play out before we make a final determination,” he added.

Iranian officials have denied that its missiles brought down the plane. A top aviation official doubled down on Friday, saying that statements from other nations were politically motivated.

But by late Friday, officials were considering acknowledging that Iranian missiles brought down the jet, according to four Iranians familiar with the deliberations. But the government may instead try to blame faulty jet equipment.

Ukraine’s main intelligence agency, known as the S.B.U., said only that it had narrowed the cause of the crash to a missile strike or a terrorist act and that it could not confirm Western intelligence that an Iranian missile system was likely to blame.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine made clear on Friday that Western governments, allies in his country’s conflict with Russia, had not initially shared the evidence underpinning their assessments that Iran had brought down the Ukrainian jet, though later a spokeswoman said that American officials had handed over more information.

The crash has presented Mr. Zelensky, a 41-year-old comedian who swept into office with a surprising election victory last spring, with the most urgent crisis of his short tenure. And its aftermath has the potential to open a fresh rift between Ukraine and its most important Western allies.

Mr. Zelensky has already turned into an unwilling player in United States domestic politics as a result of President Trump’s pressure campaign seeking announcements of investigations by Ukraine that could benefit him politically. Now, Mr. Zelensky is stuck in the middle of an even more volatile American crisis: the conflict with Iran.

Mr. Zelensky needs Iranian cooperation to deliver the full-fledged investigation of the disaster that he has pledged to Ukrainians. But he also needs the data collected by Western intelligence — as well as continued Western support in Ukraine’s conflict with Russia.

“Our goal is to ascertain the undeniable truth,” Mr. Zelensky said in a statement on Friday. “We believe this is the responsibility of the whole international community before the families of the dead and the memory of the victims of the catastrophe.”

American and Ukrainian officials scrambled on Friday to dispel any appearance of a rift. After speaking to Mr. Zelensky, Mr. Pompeo said he was ready to offer help in the crash inquiry.

Any reluctance from Western countries to help would create suspicions in Ukraine that those countries were using the tragedy as a cudgel in their conflict with Iran, said Anatoliy Hrytsenko, a former Ukrainian defense minister.

“Western leaders must give us these intelligence findings,” Mr. Hrytsenko said. “If we assume the worst and they don’t do this, then a big question mark arises: Is this really about determining the cause of a plane crash or is this now geopolitics?”

Ukrainian officials also analyzed the plane’s flight pattern on Friday and determined it had stayed within the normal corridor for flights out of Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport, Ukraine’s foreign minister, Vadym Prystaiko, said at a news conference.

“There was nothing to indicate the flight was in danger,” he said.

American officials have a high level of confidence that a Russian-made Iranian air defense system had fired two surface-to-air missiles at the plane minutes after it took off for Kyiv, one United States official has said. The jet had crashed hours after Iran fired ballistic missiles at American targets in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the leader of a powerful branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, and was bracing for a possible American response.

But Iran’s failure to close its airspace and ground commercial planes was a key error, according to an American official. Some officials believe Iran may have left its airspace open to avoid telegraphing the precise timing of the airstrike, the official said.

Ali Abedzadeh, the chief of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization, urged caution at a Friday news conference, saying that investigators could not determine anything about the cause of the crash until they analyzed data from the so-called black-box flight recorders. No missile hit the plane, he said, and it was likely on fire before it crashed.

But the Iranian air defense system used Wednesday is designed to explode near aircraft, creating shrapnel that takes a plane out of the sky, rather than directly hitting it. And footage verified by The New York Times appears to show a missile fired from Iranian territory exploding near where the jet crashed.

State television in Iran aired footage that it said showed two black boxes recovered from the crash site. Processing their data could take more than a month, and the investigation could take up to two years, Hassan Rezaeifar, the head of the Iranian investigation team, said during the news conference.

Normally, Iran has the capacity to download black-box data, but Mr. Rezaeifar said that the devices were damaged, making it difficult to extract information.

“We need special software and hardware which are available in our country, but if we fail to extract the data due to the damages of the black box, we will get help from other countries,” he said, noting that Ukraine, France, Canada and Russia have all expressed willingness to help.

France’s aviation investigation authority, known by its French acronym B.E.A., said Iran had invited it to take part in the investigation because the jetliner’s engine was designed by CFM International, a joint venture between GE Aviation, an American company, and Safran Aircraft Engines, a French one.

While many of the passengers on board were Iranians, citizens of at least seven other nations were on board, prompting expressions of sympathies from around the world that continued on Friday.

Among the dead were at least 63 Canadians, many of them university students. Dozens were believed to be from Edmonton, members of the Iranian community there told local news outlets. At least 10 were students or staff at the University of Alberta, according to a statement from David H. Turpin, the school’s president.

“We are grieving for lost colleagues, classmates, teachers, and mentors, as well as loved ones, family, friends and roommates,” he said.

A number of Swedish nationals were also on board. “We will do everything we can to find out what happened,” Stefan Lofven, the Swedish prime minister, said in a statement. “My thoughts go to the victims, their families and close relatives at this difficult time. You are not alone. We share your sorrow.”

Farnaz Fassihi and Julian E. Barnes contributed reporting.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Iran Is Expected to Announce Cause of Ukrainian Jet Crash

Westlake Legal Group 10dc-crash1-facebookJumbo Iran Is Expected to Announce Cause of Ukrainian Jet Crash Zelensky, Volodymyr United States International Relations Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 Ukraine Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Pompeo, Mike Missiles and Missile Defense Systems Iran Defense and Military Forces Canada Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

Iranian officials plan to meet with international investigators on Saturday and announce the cause of the Ukrainian jetliner crash near Tehran this week that killed all 176 aboard, Iran’s semiofficial Fars News Agency reported on Friday, capping a day of international recriminations.

The announcement comes amid a global race to answer the many questions surrounding the Wednesday crash. American and allied intelligence assessments have suggested that Iranian missiles brought down the plane, most likely by accident, amid the heightened tensions between the United States and Iran. On Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo became the first American official to publicly confirm the disclosures.

“We do believe that it’s likely that the plane was shot down by an Iranian missile,” he said at a briefing at the White House to announce new sanctions against Iran in response to its firing of ballistic missiles at American targets in Iraq this week. “We’re going to let the investigation play out before we make a final determination,” he added.

Iranian officials have denied that its missiles brought down the plane. A top aviation official doubled down on Friday, saying that statements from other nations were politically motivated.

But by late Friday, officials were considering acknowledging that Iranian missiles brought down the jet, according to four Iranians familiar with the deliberations. But the government may instead try to blame faulty jet equipment.

Ukraine’s main intelligence agency, known as the S.B.U., said only that it had narrowed the cause of the crash to a missile strike or a terrorist act and that it could not confirm Western intelligence that an Iranian missile system was likely to blame.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine made clear on Friday that Western governments, allies in his country’s conflict with Russia, had not initially shared the evidence underpinning their assessments that Iran had brought down the Ukrainian jet, though later a spokeswoman said that American officials had handed over more information.

The crash has presented Mr. Zelensky, a 41-year-old comedian who swept into office with a surprising election victory last spring, with the most urgent crisis of his short tenure. And its aftermath has the potential to open a fresh rift between Ukraine and its most important Western allies.

Mr. Zelensky has already turned into an unwilling player in United States domestic politics as a result of President Trump’s pressure campaign seeking announcements of investigations by Ukraine that could benefit him politically. Now, Mr. Zelensky is stuck in the middle of an even more volatile American crisis: the conflict with Iran.

Mr. Zelensky needs Iranian cooperation to deliver the full-fledged investigation of the disaster that he has pledged to Ukrainians. But he also needs the data collected by Western intelligence — as well as continued Western support in Ukraine’s conflict with Russia.

“Our goal is to ascertain the undeniable truth,” Mr. Zelensky said in a statement on Friday. “We believe this is the responsibility of the whole international community before the families of the dead and the memory of the victims of the catastrophe.”

American and Ukrainian officials scrambled on Friday to dispel any appearance of a rift. After speaking to Mr. Zelensky, Mr. Pompeo said he was ready to offer help in the crash inquiry.

Any reluctance from Western countries to help would create suspicions in Ukraine that those countries were using the tragedy as a cudgel in their conflict with Iran, said Anatoliy Hrytsenko, a former Ukrainian defense minister.

“Western leaders must give us these intelligence findings,” Mr. Hrytsenko said. “If we assume the worst and they don’t do this, then a big question mark arises: Is this really about determining the cause of a plane crash or is this now geopolitics?”

Ukrainian officials also analyzed the plane’s flight pattern on Friday and determined it had stayed within the normal corridor for flights out of Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport, Ukraine’s foreign minister, Vadym Prystaiko, said at a news conference.

“There was nothing to indicate the flight was in danger,” he said.

American officials have a high level of confidence that a Russian-made Iranian air defense system had fired two surface-to-air missiles at the plane minutes after it took off for Kyiv, one United States official has said. The jet had crashed hours after Iran fired ballistic missiles at American targets in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the leader of a powerful branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, and was bracing for a possible American response.

But Iran’s failure to close its airspace and ground commercial planes was a key error, according to an American official. Some officials believe Iran may have left its airspace open to avoid telegraphing the precise timing of the airstrike, the official said.

Ali Abedzadeh, the chief of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization, urged caution at a Friday news conference, saying that investigators could not determine anything about the cause of the crash until they analyzed data from the so-called black-box flight recorders. No missile hit the plane, he said, and it was likely on fire before it crashed.

But the Iranian air defense system used Wednesday is designed to explode near aircraft, creating shrapnel that takes a plane out of the sky, rather than directly hitting it. And footage verified by The New York Times appears to show a missile fired from Iranian territory exploding near where the jet crashed.

State television in Iran aired footage that it said showed two black boxes recovered from the crash site. Processing their data could take more than a month, and the investigation could take up to two years, Hassan Rezaeifar, the head of the Iranian investigation team, said during the news conference.

Normally, Iran has the capacity to download black-box data, but Mr. Rezaeifar said that the devices were damaged, making it difficult to extract information.

“We need special software and hardware which are available in our country, but if we fail to extract the data due to the damages of the black box, we will get help from other countries,” he said, noting that Ukraine, France, Canada and Russia have all expressed willingness to help.

France’s aviation investigation authority, known by its French acronym B.E.A., said Iran had invited it to take part in the investigation because the jetliner’s engine was designed by CFM International, a joint venture between GE Aviation, an American company, and Safran Aircraft Engines, a French one.

While many of the passengers on board were Iranians, citizens of at least seven other nations were on board, prompting expressions of sympathies from around the world that continued on Friday.

Among the dead were at least 63 Canadians, many of them university students. Dozens were believed to be from Edmonton, members of the Iranian community there told local news outlets. At least 10 were students or staff at the University of Alberta, according to a statement from David H. Turpin, the school’s president.

“We are grieving for lost colleagues, classmates, teachers, and mentors, as well as loved ones, family, friends and roommates,” he said.

A number of Swedish nationals were also on board. “We will do everything we can to find out what happened,” Stefan Lofven, the Swedish prime minister, said in a statement. “My thoughts go to the victims, their families and close relatives at this difficult time. You are not alone. We share your sorrow.”

Farnaz Fassihi and Julian E. Barnes contributed reporting.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Iran Is Expected to Announce Cause of Ukrainian Jet Crash

Westlake Legal Group 10dc-crash1-facebookJumbo Iran Is Expected to Announce Cause of Ukrainian Jet Crash Zelensky, Volodymyr United States International Relations Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 Ukraine Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Pompeo, Mike Missiles and Missile Defense Systems Iran Defense and Military Forces Canada Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

Iranian officials plan to meet with international investigators on Saturday and announce the cause of the Ukrainian jetliner crash near Tehran this week that killed all 176 aboard, Iran’s semiofficial Fars News Agency reported on Friday, capping a day of international recriminations.

The announcement comes amid a global race to answer the many questions surrounding the Wednesday crash. American and allied intelligence assessments have suggested that Iranian missiles brought down the plane, most likely by accident, amid the heightened tensions between the United States and Iran. On Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo became the first American official to publicly confirm the disclosures.

“We do believe that it’s likely that the plane was shot down by an Iranian missile,” he said at a briefing at the White House to announce new sanctions against Iran in response to its firing of ballistic missiles at American targets in Iraq this week. “We’re going to let the investigation play out before we make a final determination,” he added.

Iranian officials have denied that its missiles brought down the plane. A top aviation official doubled down on Friday, saying that statements from other nations were politically motivated.

But by late Friday, officials were considering acknowledging that Iranian missiles brought down the jet, according to four Iranians familiar with the deliberations. But the government may instead try to blame faulty jet equipment.

Ukraine’s main intelligence agency, known as the S.B.U., said only that it had narrowed the cause of the crash to a missile strike or a terrorist act and that it could not confirm Western intelligence that an Iranian missile system was likely to blame.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine made clear on Friday that Western governments, allies in his country’s conflict with Russia, had not initially shared the evidence underpinning their assessments that Iran had brought down the Ukrainian jet, though later a spokeswoman said that American officials had handed over more information.

The crash has presented Mr. Zelensky, a 41-year-old comedian who swept into office with a surprising election victory last spring, with the most urgent crisis of his short tenure. And its aftermath has the potential to open a fresh rift between Ukraine and its most important Western allies.

Mr. Zelensky has already turned into an unwilling player in United States domestic politics as a result of President Trump’s pressure campaign seeking announcements of investigations by Ukraine that could benefit him politically. Now, Mr. Zelensky is stuck in the middle of an even more volatile American crisis: the conflict with Iran.

Mr. Zelensky needs Iranian cooperation to deliver the full-fledged investigation of the disaster that he has pledged to Ukrainians. But he also needs the data collected by Western intelligence — as well as continued Western support in Ukraine’s conflict with Russia.

“Our goal is to ascertain the undeniable truth,” Mr. Zelensky said in a statement on Friday. “We believe this is the responsibility of the whole international community before the families of the dead and the memory of the victims of the catastrophe.”

American and Ukrainian officials scrambled on Friday to dispel any appearance of a rift. After speaking to Mr. Zelensky, Mr. Pompeo said he was ready to offer help in the crash inquiry.

Any reluctance from Western countries to help would create suspicions in Ukraine that those countries were using the tragedy as a cudgel in their conflict with Iran, said Anatoliy Hrytsenko, a former Ukrainian defense minister.

“Western leaders must give us these intelligence findings,” Mr. Hrytsenko said. “If we assume the worst and they don’t do this, then a big question mark arises: Is this really about determining the cause of a plane crash or is this now geopolitics?”

Ukrainian officials also analyzed the plane’s flight pattern on Friday and determined it had stayed within the normal corridor for flights out of Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport, Ukraine’s foreign minister, Vadym Prystaiko, said at a news conference.

“There was nothing to indicate the flight was in danger,” he said.

American officials have a high level of confidence that a Russian-made Iranian air defense system had fired two surface-to-air missiles at the plane minutes after it took off for Kyiv, one United States official has said. The jet had crashed hours after Iran fired ballistic missiles at American targets in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the leader of a powerful branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, and was bracing for a possible American response.

But Iran’s failure to close its airspace and ground commercial planes was a key error, according to an American official. Some officials believe Iran may have left its airspace open to avoid telegraphing the precise timing of the airstrike, the official said.

Ali Abedzadeh, the chief of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization, urged caution at a Friday news conference, saying that investigators could not determine anything about the cause of the crash until they analyzed data from the so-called black-box flight recorders. No missile hit the plane, he said, and it was likely on fire before it crashed.

But the Iranian air defense system used Wednesday is designed to explode near aircraft, creating shrapnel that takes a plane out of the sky, rather than directly hitting it. And footage verified by The New York Times appears to show a missile fired from Iranian territory exploding near where the jet crashed.

State television in Iran aired footage that it said showed two black boxes recovered from the crash site. Processing their data could take more than a month, and the investigation could take up to two years, Hassan Rezaeifar, the head of the Iranian investigation team, said during the news conference.

Normally, Iran has the capacity to download black-box data, but Mr. Rezaeifar said that the devices were damaged, making it difficult to extract information.

“We need special software and hardware which are available in our country, but if we fail to extract the data due to the damages of the black box, we will get help from other countries,” he said, noting that Ukraine, France, Canada and Russia have all expressed willingness to help.

France’s aviation investigation authority, known by its French acronym B.E.A., said Iran had invited it to take part in the investigation because the jetliner’s engine was designed by CFM International, a joint venture between GE Aviation, an American company, and Safran Aircraft Engines, a French one.

While many of the passengers on board were Iranians, citizens of at least seven other nations were on board, prompting expressions of sympathies from around the world that continued on Friday.

Among the dead were at least 63 Canadians, many of them university students. Dozens were believed to be from Edmonton, members of the Iranian community there told local news outlets. At least 10 were students or staff at the University of Alberta, according to a statement from David H. Turpin, the school’s president.

“We are grieving for lost colleagues, classmates, teachers, and mentors, as well as loved ones, family, friends and roommates,” he said.

A number of Swedish nationals were also on board. “We will do everything we can to find out what happened,” Stefan Lofven, the Swedish prime minister, said in a statement. “My thoughts go to the victims, their families and close relatives at this difficult time. You are not alone. We share your sorrow.”

Farnaz Fassihi and Julian E. Barnes contributed reporting.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Iran Is Expected to Announce Cause of Ukrainian Jet Crash

Westlake Legal Group 10dc-crash1-facebookJumbo Iran Is Expected to Announce Cause of Ukrainian Jet Crash Zelensky, Volodymyr United States International Relations Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 Ukraine Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Pompeo, Mike Missiles and Missile Defense Systems Iran Defense and Military Forces Canada Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

Iranian officials plan to meet with international investigators on Saturday and announce the cause of the Ukrainian jetliner crash near Tehran this week that killed all 176 aboard, Iran’s semiofficial Fars News Agency reported on Friday, capping a day of international recriminations.

The announcement comes amid a global race to answer the many questions surrounding the Wednesday crash. American and allied intelligence assessments have suggested that Iranian missiles brought down the plane, most likely by accident, amid the heightened tensions between the United States and Iran. On Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo became the first American official to publicly confirm the disclosures.

“We do believe that it’s likely that the plane was shot down by an Iranian missile,” he said at a briefing at the White House to announce new sanctions against Iran in response to its firing of ballistic missiles at American targets in Iraq this week. “We’re going to let the investigation play out before we make a final determination,” he added.

Iranian officials have denied that its missiles brought down the plane. A top aviation official doubled down on Friday, saying that statements from other nations were politically motivated.

But by late Friday, officials were considering acknowledging that Iranian missiles brought down the jet, according to four Iranians familiar with the deliberations. But the government may instead try to blame faulty jet equipment.

Ukraine’s main intelligence agency, known as the S.B.U., said only that it had narrowed the cause of the crash to a missile strike or a terrorist act and that it could not confirm Western intelligence that an Iranian missile system was likely to blame.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine made clear on Friday that Western governments, allies in his country’s conflict with Russia, had not initially shared the evidence underpinning their assessments that Iran had brought down the Ukrainian jet, though later a spokeswoman said that American officials had handed over more information.

The crash has presented Mr. Zelensky, a 41-year-old comedian who swept into office with a surprising election victory last spring, with the most urgent crisis of his short tenure. And its aftermath has the potential to open a fresh rift between Ukraine and its most important Western allies.

Mr. Zelensky has already turned into an unwilling player in United States domestic politics as a result of President Trump’s pressure campaign seeking announcements of investigations by Ukraine that could benefit him politically. Now, Mr. Zelensky is stuck in the middle of an even more volatile American crisis: the conflict with Iran.

Mr. Zelensky needs Iranian cooperation to deliver the full-fledged investigation of the disaster that he has pledged to Ukrainians. But he also needs the data collected by Western intelligence — as well as continued Western support in Ukraine’s conflict with Russia.

“Our goal is to ascertain the undeniable truth,” Mr. Zelensky said in a statement on Friday. “We believe this is the responsibility of the whole international community before the families of the dead and the memory of the victims of the catastrophe.”

American and Ukrainian officials scrambled on Friday to dispel any appearance of a rift. After speaking to Mr. Zelensky, Mr. Pompeo said he was ready to offer help in the crash inquiry.

Any reluctance from Western countries to help would create suspicions in Ukraine that those countries were using the tragedy as a cudgel in their conflict with Iran, said Anatoliy Hrytsenko, a former Ukrainian defense minister.

“Western leaders must give us these intelligence findings,” Mr. Hrytsenko said. “If we assume the worst and they don’t do this, then a big question mark arises: Is this really about determining the cause of a plane crash or is this now geopolitics?”

Ukrainian officials also analyzed the plane’s flight pattern on Friday and determined it had stayed within the normal corridor for flights out of Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport, Ukraine’s foreign minister, Vadym Prystaiko, said at a news conference.

“There was nothing to indicate the flight was in danger,” he said.

American officials have a high level of confidence that a Russian-made Iranian air defense system had fired two surface-to-air missiles at the plane minutes after it took off for Kyiv, one United States official has said. The jet had crashed hours after Iran fired ballistic missiles at American targets in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the leader of a powerful branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, and was bracing for a possible American response.

But Iran’s failure to close its airspace and ground commercial planes was a key error, according to an American official. Some officials believe Iran may have left its airspace open to avoid telegraphing the precise timing of the airstrike, the official said.

Ali Abedzadeh, the chief of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization, urged caution at a Friday news conference, saying that investigators could not determine anything about the cause of the crash until they analyzed data from the so-called black-box flight recorders. No missile hit the plane, he said, and it was likely on fire before it crashed.

But the Iranian air defense system used Wednesday is designed to explode near aircraft, creating shrapnel that takes a plane out of the sky, rather than directly hitting it. And footage verified by The New York Times appears to show a missile fired from Iranian territory exploding near where the jet crashed.

State television in Iran aired footage that it said showed two black boxes recovered from the crash site. Processing their data could take more than a month, and the investigation could take up to two years, Hassan Rezaeifar, the head of the Iranian investigation team, said during the news conference.

Normally, Iran has the capacity to download black-box data, but Mr. Rezaeifar said that the devices were damaged, making it difficult to extract information.

“We need special software and hardware which are available in our country, but if we fail to extract the data due to the damages of the black box, we will get help from other countries,” he said, noting that Ukraine, France, Canada and Russia have all expressed willingness to help.

France’s aviation investigation authority, known by its French acronym B.E.A., said Iran had invited it to take part in the investigation because the jetliner’s engine was designed by CFM International, a joint venture between GE Aviation, an American company, and Safran Aircraft Engines, a French one.

While many of the passengers on board were Iranians, citizens of at least seven other nations were on board, prompting expressions of sympathies from around the world that continued on Friday.

Among the dead were at least 63 Canadians, many of them university students. Dozens were believed to be from Edmonton, members of the Iranian community there told local news outlets. At least 10 were students or staff at the University of Alberta, according to a statement from David H. Turpin, the school’s president.

“We are grieving for lost colleagues, classmates, teachers, and mentors, as well as loved ones, family, friends and roommates,” he said.

A number of Swedish nationals were also on board. “We will do everything we can to find out what happened,” Stefan Lofven, the Swedish prime minister, said in a statement. “My thoughts go to the victims, their families and close relatives at this difficult time. You are not alone. We share your sorrow.”

Farnaz Fassihi and Julian E. Barnes contributed reporting.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Iran Is Expected to Announce Cause of Ukrainian Jet Crash

Westlake Legal Group 10dc-crash1-facebookJumbo Iran Is Expected to Announce Cause of Ukrainian Jet Crash Zelensky, Volodymyr United States International Relations Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 Ukraine Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Pompeo, Mike Missiles and Missile Defense Systems Iran Defense and Military Forces Canada Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

Iranian officials plan to meet with international investigators on Saturday and announce the cause of the Ukrainian jetliner crash near Tehran this week that killed all 176 aboard, Iran’s semiofficial Fars News Agency reported on Friday, capping a day of international recriminations.

The announcement comes amid a global race to answer the many questions surrounding the Wednesday crash. American and allied intelligence assessments have suggested that Iranian missiles brought down the plane, most likely by accident, amid the heightened tensions between the United States and Iran. On Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo became the first American official to publicly confirm the disclosures.

“We do believe that it’s likely that the plane was shot down by an Iranian missile,” he said at a briefing at the White House to announce new sanctions against Iran in response to its firing of ballistic missiles at American targets in Iraq this week. “We’re going to let the investigation play out before we make a final determination,” he added.

Iranian officials have denied that its missiles brought down the plane. A top aviation official doubled down on Friday, saying that statements from other nations were politically motivated.

But by late Friday, officials were considering acknowledging that Iranian missiles brought down the jet, according to four Iranians familiar with the deliberations. But the government may instead try to blame faulty jet equipment.

Ukraine’s main intelligence agency, known as the S.B.U., said only that it had narrowed the cause of the crash to a missile strike or a terrorist act and that it could not confirm Western intelligence that an Iranian missile system was likely to blame.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine made clear on Friday that Western governments, allies in his country’s conflict with Russia, had not initially shared the evidence underpinning their assessments that Iran had brought down the Ukrainian jet, though later a spokeswoman said that American officials had handed over more information.

The crash has presented Mr. Zelensky, a 41-year-old comedian who swept into office with a surprising election victory last spring, with the most urgent crisis of his short tenure. And its aftermath has the potential to open a fresh rift between Ukraine and its most important Western allies.

Mr. Zelensky has already turned into an unwilling player in United States domestic politics as a result of President Trump’s pressure campaign seeking announcements of investigations by Ukraine that could benefit him politically. Now, Mr. Zelensky is stuck in the middle of an even more volatile American crisis: the conflict with Iran.

Mr. Zelensky needs Iranian cooperation to deliver the full-fledged investigation of the disaster that he has pledged to Ukrainians. But he also needs the data collected by Western intelligence — as well as continued Western support in Ukraine’s conflict with Russia.

“Our goal is to ascertain the undeniable truth,” Mr. Zelensky said in a statement on Friday. “We believe this is the responsibility of the whole international community before the families of the dead and the memory of the victims of the catastrophe.”

American and Ukrainian officials scrambled on Friday to dispel any appearance of a rift. After speaking to Mr. Zelensky, Mr. Pompeo said he was ready to offer help in the crash inquiry.

Any reluctance from Western countries to help would create suspicions in Ukraine that those countries were using the tragedy as a cudgel in their conflict with Iran, said Anatoliy Hrytsenko, a former Ukrainian defense minister.

“Western leaders must give us these intelligence findings,” Mr. Hrytsenko said. “If we assume the worst and they don’t do this, then a big question mark arises: Is this really about determining the cause of a plane crash or is this now geopolitics?”

Ukrainian officials also analyzed the plane’s flight pattern on Friday and determined it had stayed within the normal corridor for flights out of Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport, Ukraine’s foreign minister, Vadym Prystaiko, said at a news conference.

“There was nothing to indicate the flight was in danger,” he said.

American officials have a high level of confidence that a Russian-made Iranian air defense system had fired two surface-to-air missiles at the plane minutes after it took off for Kyiv, one United States official has said. The jet had crashed hours after Iran fired ballistic missiles at American targets in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the leader of a powerful branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, and was bracing for a possible American response.

But Iran’s failure to close its airspace and ground commercial planes was a key error, according to an American official. Some officials believe Iran may have left its airspace open to avoid telegraphing the precise timing of the airstrike, the official said.

Ali Abedzadeh, the chief of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization, urged caution at a Friday news conference, saying that investigators could not determine anything about the cause of the crash until they analyzed data from the so-called black-box flight recorders. No missile hit the plane, he said, and it was likely on fire before it crashed.

But the Iranian air defense system used Wednesday is designed to explode near aircraft, creating shrapnel that takes a plane out of the sky, rather than directly hitting it. And footage verified by The New York Times appears to show a missile fired from Iranian territory exploding near where the jet crashed.

State television in Iran aired footage that it said showed two black boxes recovered from the crash site. Processing their data could take more than a month, and the investigation could take up to two years, Hassan Rezaeifar, the head of the Iranian investigation team, said during the news conference.

Normally, Iran has the capacity to download black-box data, but Mr. Rezaeifar said that the devices were damaged, making it difficult to extract information.

“We need special software and hardware which are available in our country, but if we fail to extract the data due to the damages of the black box, we will get help from other countries,” he said, noting that Ukraine, France, Canada and Russia have all expressed willingness to help.

France’s aviation investigation authority, known by its French acronym B.E.A., said Iran had invited it to take part in the investigation because the jetliner’s engine was designed by CFM International, a joint venture between GE Aviation, an American company, and Safran Aircraft Engines, a French one.

While many of the passengers on board were Iranians, citizens of at least seven other nations were on board, prompting expressions of sympathies from around the world that continued on Friday.

Among the dead were at least 63 Canadians, many of them university students. Dozens were believed to be from Edmonton, members of the Iranian community there told local news outlets. At least 10 were students or staff at the University of Alberta, according to a statement from David H. Turpin, the school’s president.

“We are grieving for lost colleagues, classmates, teachers, and mentors, as well as loved ones, family, friends and roommates,” he said.

A number of Swedish nationals were also on board. “We will do everything we can to find out what happened,” Stefan Lofven, the Swedish prime minister, said in a statement. “My thoughts go to the victims, their families and close relatives at this difficult time. You are not alone. We share your sorrow.”

Farnaz Fassihi and Julian E. Barnes contributed reporting.

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U.S. Unsuccessfully Tried Killing a Second Iranian Military Official

Westlake Legal Group 10dc-military-facebookJumbo-v2 U.S. Unsuccessfully Tried Killing a Second Iranian Military Official Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Quds Force Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Defense Department Defense and Military Forces

WASHINGTON — The American military unsuccessfully tried to kill a senior Iranian military official in Yemen on the same day a drone strike killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, Iran’s most powerful commander, according to American officials.

The disclosure of a second mission indicated that the Trump administration had plans for a broader campaign than was previously known, intended to cripple Iran’s ability to carry out proxy wars in other countries. After Iran’s retaliatory missile strikes on Iraqi bases that host American troops, both Washington and Tehran appear to have stepped back from escalating the conflict further, at least for now.

The unsuccessful airstrike in Yemen was aimed at Abdul Reza Shahlai, an official with Iran’s Quds Force, a potent paramilitary organization that General Suleimani had led. Mr. Shahlai was known as a main organizer of financing for Shiite militias in the region.

President Trump approved the strike against Mr. Shahlai in the same period that he authorized the strike against General Suleimani on Jan. 3, although it was unclear if the American attack in Yemen occurred at precisely the same time.

Mr. Shahlai and General Suleimani were two of several Iranian officials the administration targeted in an effort to halt Iran-backed attacks on sites with Americans and to deter Iran from ramping up aggression in the region, American officials said.

The United States had offered a $15 million reward for information about Mr. Shahlai. The announcement of the reward accused him of involvement in attacks on American allies, including a failed 2011 plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States.

Mr. Shahlai was based in Yemen, where Iran is supporting the Houthi rebels, who are fighting a coalition led by Saudi Arabia and that gets logistical help, intelligence and weapons from the American military and American arms makers. The attempted strike on Mr. Shahlai was first reported by The Washington Post.

On Friday, Mr. Trump expanded his description of the threat from Iran that he said prompted the strike on General Suleimani, saying Iran had planned to attack multiple embassies across the Middle East, including the American Embassy in Baghdad.

“I can reveal that I believe it probably would’ve been four embassies,” Mr. Trump told Laura Ingraham of Fox News. He provide no additional information.

But the new detail brought immediate criticism from Democrats, who have complained that the Trump administration has not shared specific, credible intelligence warning of an imminent attack.

“If there was evidence of imminent attacks on four embassies, the Administration would have said so at our Wednesday briefing,” Senator Christopher S. Murphy of Connecticut, who serves on the Foreign Relations Committee, wrote on Twitter. “They didn’t. So either Fox News gets higher level briefings than Congress…or…wait for it…there was no such imminent threat.”

Mr. Pompeo has said that General Suleimani had been planning an “imminent attack” against Americans, although he also told Fox News on Thursday night that “we don’t know precisely when and we don’t know precisely where.”

Speaking on Friday at the White House, Mr. Pompeo defended the credibility of the intelligence, saying that “we had specific information on an imminent threat.”

“And those threats included attacks on U.S. embassies,” he added. “Period, full stop.”

Even so, Mr. Pompeo stopped short of repeating Mr. Trump’s comments about a specific plot against the American Embassy in Baghdad. But he also dismissed criticism from members of Congress that the administration had failed to share intelligence that backs up its case.

“I don’t know exactly which minute,” Mr. Pompeo said. “We don’t know exactly which day it would have been executed, but it was very clear: Qassim Suleimani himself was plotting a broad, large-scale attack against American interests, and those attacks were imminent.”

Asked how he defined an imminent threat, Mr. Pompeo replied: “This was going to happen. And American lives were at risk.”

A senior administration official said Friday that the intelligence showed that Mr. Suleimani was planning to have forces carry out some sort of attack in the region that would result in mass casualties of Americans, with the intent of getting the American military to withdraw from Iraq, one of his main missions. But the official provided no further details.

Some Pentagon and State Department officials have said since the killing of General Suleimani that there was nothing in intelligence that showed threats that were out of the ordinary. They said the United States was aware that General Suleimani was always capable of lethal attacks on Americans and at any given time would have various plans underway.

Administration officials say General Suleimani and the Quds Force, which is an arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans, most of them soldiers who were fighting in Iraq in the mid-2000s. At the time, the Quds Force passed technology and training to Iraqi Shiite militias that allowed the militias to make powerful explosives that could penetrate armored vehicles used by the American military. They were the deadliest types of roadside bombs encountered by Americans in the war.

On Friday, Mr. Pompeo and the Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, announced new sanctions on Iranian officials and on a few companies — including two in China — involved in the production and export of Iranian steel and other metals. The Trump administration had already imposed major sanctions on Iran’s metals industry after Mr. Trump’s withdrawal in 2018 from a landmark nuclear agreement with the country, so analysts said the new sanctions would have little additional effect.

The damage to Iran from the new sanctions will be negligible, said Peter Harrell, a sanctions expert at the Center for a New American Security in Washington. “When it comes to putting materially more economic pressure on Iran, the Trump administration is something of a victim of its own success — and I think we are reaching the end of the road for what ‘maximum pressure’ can achieve when it comes to Iran’s economy,” Mr. Harrell said.

The successful drone strike against General Suleimani on Jan. 3 at Baghdad International Airport, which Iraqi officials say killed five Iranians and five Iraqis in a two-car convoy, and the unsuccessful attack in Yemen appeared aimed at knocking the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps back on its heels. Some senior military and intelligence officials had argued internally that significant strikes against the group would effectively damage Iran’s ability to direct its proxy forces.

But others in the Trump administration, including intelligence officials, had contended that strikes against senior commanders were risky and might have the effect of inciting a wider conflict with Iran that Mr. Trump has said he wants to avoid.

The Pentagon declined to confirm the strike attempt in Yemen. But Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich, a Pentagon spokeswoman, noted that Yemen was “long understood as a safe space for terrorists and other adversaries to the United States.”

Members of Congress from both parties have tried to force Mr. Trump to end American involvement in the war in Yemen, which has resulted in the world’s worst man-made humanitarian crisis. Last April, the president vetoed a resolution from Congress that would have forced the military to halt all aid to the Saudi-led coalition.

Tensions between the United States and Iran have been on the rise since Mr. Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions.

In Iraq, militias supported by Iran carried out 11 rocket attacks over two months late last year on sites with Americans, United States officials say.

One such attack on Dec. 27 resulted in the death of an American interpreter, Nawres Hamid. That then prompted the Americans to carry out airstrikes on Dec. 29 on five sites in Iraq and Syria that killed at least 25 members of the Kataib Hezbollah militia and injured 50 others, American officials said.

Two days later, members of the militia carried out a protest at the American Embassy in Baghdad, which ignited outrage in Mr. Trump and Mr. Pompeo.

Eileen Sullivan, Alan Rappeport and Katie Rogers contributed reporting.

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