According to the statement, the Iranian military “unintentionally” shot down the Ukrainian plane, killing 176 people. They named the reason as “human factor”, reports The Guardian.
It was also mentioned that people responsible for the tragedy will be punished, and the Iranian government apologizes to the families of the victims.
The Iranian military also informed that on the day of the crash they noticed the increased activity of American warplanes near the borders of Iran, as well as detected air objects that allegedly moved towards the Iranian military objects, CNN adds.
A military statement carried by state media said the plane was mistaken for a “hostile target” after it turned toward a “sensitive military center” of the Revolutionary Guard. The military was at its “highest level of readiness,” it said, amid the heightened tensions with the United States.
“In such a condition, because of human error and in a unintentional way, the flight was hit,” the statement said. It apologized for the disaster and said it would upgrade its systems to prevent future tragedies.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has already expressed his condolences. He added, however, that the human factor that led to the tragedy emerged from the crisis caused by “U.S. adventurism.