Ukraine demands official apology from Iran

KIEV (AA): Ukraine has demanded an official apology from Iran after Tehran admitted earlier on Saturday that it unintentionally downed a Ukrainian aircraft killing all passengers on board.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a Facebook post: “This morning was not good, but it brought the truth. Even before the end of the work of the international investigative commission, Iran admitted its guilt. But we insist on a full admission. We expect from Iran’s assurances to readiness for a full and open investigation, bring those responsible to justice, the return of the bodies of the victims, payment of compensation, an official apology through diplomatic channels.”

Iran’s General Staff of the Armed Forces said Saturday that a Ukrainian aircraft was “accidentally” hit by an Iranian missile earlier this week.

The Boeing 737-800 crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport just hours after Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles targeting U.S. troops in Iraq in retaliation for last week’s killing of Qasem Soleimani, a top Iranian general.

Some 176 people died in the crash, including Iranians, Canadians, Ukrainians, Swedes, Afghans, Germans, and British citizens.