Photo: Reuters

Rouhani: Ukraine flight downing “unforgivable error”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 “a very painful and unforgivable error.”

The president’s statements came during a televised address before the Iranian Parliament last night, where he declared that as soon as he “discovered the crash was not normal and ordinary,” he “put in a lot of effort to shorten the investigation so that we know exactly how the plane crashed.”

Rouhani also said that he had “immediately ordered the people in charge” to make a public announcement regarding the deadly incident, which claimed the lives of 176 passengers and crew aboard. Stressing critical nature of investigation as to why Iranian authorities ‘mistakenly’ shot down the commercial airliner, Rouhani called on the judiciary in the Islamic’ Republic to “form a special court with a high-ranking judge and tens of experts.” He added, “This is not an ordinary case; all the world will be watching this case of ours.”

Iran‘s judiciary announced this morning that arrests have been made over the shoot-down of Ukrainian airliner. Iranian state media cited Judicial Spokesman Gholam-Hossein Esmaili this morning, saying that “extensive investigations have taken place and some individuals have been arrested.” He neglected to provide additional details regarding the number or identities of the detained suspects, however.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has declared that the United Kingdom is not keen on war with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

During his first interview of the new year, the Premier called on all parties involved to ‘dial down tensions,” while he simultaneously accused the Ayatollah Regime of holding the Iranian people captive. “I don’t want a military conflict between us, between the United States and Iran,” Johnson said on BBC’s Breakfast program, adding that Iran s an “amazing country” of “80 million,” with a “young” and “literate” population who he said should “be orientated towards free markets, towards our way of doing things. And yet they’re the captives. They’re the prisoners of this approach, this government that they have.

Prime Minister Johnson also urged U.S. President Donald Trump to provide an alternative to the 2015 nuclear deal from which he withdrew in 2018.  “My point to our American friends is, look, somehow or other, we’ve got to stop the Iranians acquiring a nuclear weapon,” said the UK leader, stating “that’s what the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreement does, the JCPOA.”

“But if we’re going to get rid of it,” said Prime Minister Johnson, “then we need a replacement.”