Monday, 20 January, 2020


Iran president calls for special court to probe plane crash

Shiite Muslims take part in a anti-US protest against the killing of top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in Iraq in Lahore Iranians protest for third day after plane disaster
Bennie Garza | 14 January, 2020, 12:53

The tragic incident came just hours after Tehran fired missiles at two military bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of a top Iranian military official. What is also of concern is that Iranian defences failed to distinguish between a hostile and commercial aircraft, or mistook the plane for a missile. The overall level of unrest is hard to assess because of restrictions on independent reporting.

The demonstrations started after the Iranian military said that they were responsible for taking down the Ukrainian passenger airline.

The chair of the Canadian government agency that probes air disasters says it would be standard procedure for investigators to examine whether Ukraine Airlines Flight 752 was accidentally or intentionally shot down. He did not say how many individuals have been detained, or name them.

Nevertheless, safety board officials said the access granted by Iran to Canada has gone beyond what is required under worldwide protocols.

"The announcement of the real cause of the Ukrainian plane crash took some time due to the necessity of examining all the possible theories, including "possible enemy actions in jamming, ' 'hacking of systems" 'infiltration, ' and other related factors", he said.

The death of Qassem Soleimani had initially united Iranians in mourning last week, but Iran's changing story has sparked a resurgence of protests.

The authorities killed hundreds of demonstrators in a crackdown two months ago, in what was probably the worst anti-government unrest since the revolution.

The group will also discuss seeking compensation for the families of the victims.

At Tehran's Amirkabir University on Saturday night, thousands of protesters shouted "Khamenei is over!" and called the government "shameless".

"At protests, police absolutely did not shoot because the capital's police officers have been given orders to show restraint".

Rouhani called the government's admission that Iranian forces shot down the plane a "first good step".

"Police treated people who had gathered with patience and tolerance", Tehran Police Chief Hossein Rahimi said in a statement on state media.

Ukraine's foreign minister said "grieving nations", five of the countries whose citizens were killed when an airliner was shot down, would meet on Thursday.

"He also said that ultimately it's the U.S. that's responsible for the heightened level of tension, again referring to Trump's threat to target 52 sites but added that this isn't an excuse for the military and other people", Baig said.

"I think if there were no tensions, if there was no escalation recently in the region, those Canadians would be right now home with their families", Trudeau told Global News TV.

Incidentally, on the same day Trudeau was giving this interview, Trump tweeted that "it doesn't really matter" whether Soleimani posed an imminent threat to the U.S.

"The U.S. makes its determinations", he added.

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