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A Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 aircraft. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Iran Admits It ‘Unintentionally’ Shot Down Ukrainian 737 in Tehran

In a military statement publicized by its state media this Saturday, Iran admitted it “unintentionally” shot down the civilian 737-800 of Ukraine International Airlines in Tehran last Wednesday, reported the Associated Press.

According to the statement, reports the AP, the aircraft was mistaken as a so-called “hostile target” after turning towards a “sensitive military center” of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, being the local military is at the “highest level of readiness.”

The incident happened hours after the Iranian retaliation against the U.S. and allied forces, with several missiles being launched into U.S. military facilities in Iraq.

According to the AP, the statement affirmed that “in such a condition, because of human error and in a unintentional way, the flight was hit.” It apologized for the crash and assured systems to prevent such cases would also be upgraded, also stating that those responsible for the attack will be prosecuted.

The 737 operated by the Ukrainian carrier crashed in a suburb of the Iranian capital moments after taking off, killing all 167 passengers and nine crew members onboard. Flight PS752 had Kyiv as its final destination.

This week, both the U.S. Intelligence and the Canadian government alleged an Iranian ground-to-air missile was responsible for shooting the airplane down, an accusation which, up to this point, the Iranian Government had denied.

Despite the claims the aircraft had turned into a “sensitive” area, data by Flightradar24 tracker show that PS752 was following the regular departure pattern from Tehran Imam Khomeini Airport, at least to the point in which the transponder signal was lost.

As the announcement was made late Friday night in Western countries, Canada — which lost over 60 citizens in the crash — and other nations have still not officially reacted to Iran’s statement.


  • João has loved aviation since he was six-years-old when he started visiting his home airport in Porto Alegre, southern Brazil. As he always loved writing, in 2011, at age 10 he started his very own aviation blog. Many things have happened since then, and now he is putting all his efforts into being an airline executive in the future.

João Machado
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