Iran says some people arrested for role in Ukrainian plane crash that killed 176

Iran says some people arrested for role in Ukrainian plane crash that killed 176

Iran’s judiciary said Tuesday arrests have been made over the accidental shootdown of a Ukrainian passenger plane that killed all 176 people on board just after takeoff from Tehran.

The announcement came shortly after Iran’s president called for a special court to be set up to probe the downing last week of the plane by Iranian forces.

Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili was quoted by Iranian state media saying that extensive investigations have taken place and some individuals are arrested. He did not say how many individuals have been detained or name them.

Iran, which initially dismissed allegations that a missile had brought down the jetliner, acknowledged three days after Wednesday’s downing and in the face of mounting evidence that its Revolutionary Guard had shot down the Ukrainian plane by mistake.

The judiciary should form a special court with a ranking judge and dozens of experts, President Hassan Rouhani said in a speech televised in Iran on Tuesday. This is not an ordinary case. The entire the world will be watching this court.

Rouhani called the incident a painful and unforgivable mistake and promised that his administration would pursue the case by all means.

The responsibility falls on more than just one person, he said, adding that those found culpable should be punished.

There are others, too, and I want that this issue is expressed honestly, he said, without elaborating.

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