Iran admits ‘unintentionally’ shooting down plane – BBC News

Iran has admitted “unintentionally” shooting down a Ukrainian passenger jet, killing all 176 people on board.

An investigation found that “missiles fired due to human error”, President Hassan Rouhani said. He described the crash as an “unforgivable mistake”.

The military said the jet turned towards a sensitive site belonging to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and was then mistaken for a cruise missile.

Iran had previously rejected suggestions that it was to blame.

The downing of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 on Wednesday came just hours after Iran carried out missile strikes on two airbases housing US forces in Iraq.

The strikes were a response to the killing of senior Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in a US drone strike in Baghdad on 3 January.

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In This Story: Iran

Iran, also called Persia, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. Its central location in Eurasia and proximity to the Strait of Hormuz give it significant geostrategic importance. Tehran is the capital and largest city.

Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations, beginning with the formation of the Elamite kingdoms in the fourth millennium BC. The Iranian Revolution established the current Islamic Republic in 1979.

Iran’s political system combines elements of a presidential democracy and an Islamic theocracy. Iran is a founding member of the UN, ECO, OIC, and OPEC. It is a major regional and middle power and has large reserves of fossil fuels — including the world’s largest natural gas supply and the third largest proven oil reserves.

The country’s rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 22 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Historically a multi-ethnic country, Iran remains a pluralistic society comprising numerous ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups, the largest being Persians, Azeris, Kurds, Mazandaranis and Lurs.

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