Iran just admitted to shooting down the Ukrainian jet in a tweet – here's what it means

Sirena Bergman@SirenaBergman
Saturday 11 January 2020 08:00
news

Iran has admitted it shot down the Ukraine passenger jet in a tweet early this morning.

The foreign minister Javad Zarif tweeted that it was an accident, and offered his "apologies and condolences" to the families of the victims.

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani followed up with a further tweet, calling the crash a "great tragedy" and "unforgivable mistake".

What does this mean?

It seems Justin Trudeau was right when he blamed Iran for the crash which killed around 180 people, of which approximately half were Canadian. He said intelligence showed that Iran was responsible, but that it may well have been unintentional.

Iran has until now blamed the crash on mechanical failure, but pressure has been mounting for the nation to take responsibility. The crash on Wednesday morning came just hours after Iran fired missiles at two US military bases in Iraq in an escalation of tensions between Iran and the US when Trump ordered the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, who led Iran’s elite Quds force.

Trump has yet to respond to the admission, but has been doubling down on his decision to have Soleimani killed after heavy criticism from leading Democrats concerned for the potential consequences. Trump has been retweeting comments praising his actions.

With Boeing off the hook for the crash, travellers may breathe a sigh of relief, especially after leaked emails this week saw employees of the jet manufacturer refer to the 737 Max (which has been grounded since the crash of the Ethiopian Airlines flight last March) as “designed by clowns who in turn are supervised by monkeys”.

What are people saying?

Zarif's implication that the US "adventurism" is ultimately to blame for the tragedy has drawn criticism, mainly from the right.

However, others see this as a direct result of Trump's actions.

People have also questioned why iran continued to let commercial planes to fly despite the risk.

Many have urged us to not lose sight of the tragic loss of life that occurred.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has demanded compensation and an official apology.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said Canada's focus is on "closure" and completing a "thorough investigation".

What happens next?

All eyes are on Trump as the US wakes up to the news. With a president this unpredictable we can just as reasonably expect a measured official statement as we can a pseudo-declaration of war in a string of unintelligible tweets.

MORE: Trump's reaction to the Iran missiles was one of his worst moments yet

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