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Politics

Flight PS752 Downing Destroyed Public Trust In Iranian Government

January 9, 2023
Ehsan Mehrabi
2 min read
Three days of official denials of responsibility have led to skepticism among government supporters toward the authorities.
Three days of official denials of responsibility have led to skepticism among government supporters toward the authorities.
The nation has also lost trust in government experts who repeatedly claimed that flight PS752 could not have been shot down.
The nation has also lost trust in government experts who repeatedly claimed that flight PS752 could not have been shot down.
The families of some of the victims who were close to the government even suggested that the plane may have been deliberately fired at.
The families of some of the victims who were close to the government even suggested that the plane may have been deliberately fired at.
Government officials later said that their denials were based on statements made by military officials.
Government officials later said that their denials were based on statements made by military officials.
Finally, on January 11, the Iranian armed forces publicly admitted that the Ukrainian passenger plane was brought down due to a “human error” in operating a surface-to-air defense system.
Finally, on January 11, the Iranian armed forces publicly admitted that the Ukrainian passenger plane was brought down due to a “human error” in operating a surface-to-air defense system.
The move came after a reported meeting between government officials, IRGC commanders and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, during which the decision was made to admit responsibility.
The move came after a reported meeting between government officials, IRGC commanders and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, during which the decision was made to admit responsibility.

The shooting down of a Ukraine International Airlines passenger plane by two missiles fired by the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps three years ago has strengthened the belief of some Iranians that the Islamic Republic was capable of everything, while also destroying public trust in the country’s clerical rulers.

Three days of official denials of responsibility have led to skepticism among government supporters toward the authorities.

The nation has also lost trust in government experts who repeatedly claimed that flight PS752 could not have been shot down.

The families of some of the victims who were close to the government even suggested that the plane may have been deliberately fired at.

The "big lie"

On January 8, 2020, flight PS752 crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran while en route to Kyiv, killing all 176 people on board, at a time of heightened tensions with the United States.

A few hours earlier, Iranian forces launched missile strikes on an Iraqi airbase housing American soldiers to “avenge” the killing of top general Ghasem Soleimani in a US drone attack near Baghdad.

From the very beginning, there were reports of a missile being fired at the Boeing 737-800.

But Iranian officials, including the president and head of the Civil Aviation Authority, blamed the crash on a technical issue.

When U.S. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile, Ali Abedzadeh, the head of Iran's Civil Aviation Authority, called such a scenario "scientifically impossible."

After that, ex-Minister of Roads Ahmed Khorram and other former officials considered the Iranian denials as "strange."

Reuters, CBS and Newsweek soon cited US intelligence sources as saying the Ukrainian plane was shot down by an Iranian missile, something government spokesman Ali Rabiei rejected as “not true.”

Official news agencies published reports aimed at exposing the "big lie."

IRNA published a joint statement of experts of the Union of Air and Space Industries of Iran and aviation engineering graduates of the Sharif University of Technology giving "10 reasons to reject the claim that a missile hit the Ukrainian passenger plane."

Mohammed Javad Zarif, the foreign minister at the time, said in a leaked file he had asked the Supreme National Security Council and the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces on January 10 whether the Islamic Republic had shot down the plane, but he faced sharp criticism.

Zarif said that council spokesman Keyvan Khosravi asked him to reject the accusation.

Finally, on January 11, the Iranian armed forces publicly admitted that the Ukrainian passenger plane was brought down due to a “human error” in operating a surface-to-air defense system.

The move came after a reported meeting between government officials, IRGC commanders and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, during which the decision was made to admit responsibility.

Government officials later said that their denials were based on statements made by military officials.

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