A Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) flight crashed soon after removing from the Iranian capital Tehran on 8 January, eliminating all 176 guests and crew members on board.
It can be found in the midst of intensifying tensions in between the US and Iran.
After days of rejection – and installing proof – on Saturday Iran confessed it had actually shot the Boeing plane down “unintentionally”.
Here is what we understand.
Mike Pompeo What happened?
On 8 January, at 06: 12 regional time (02: 42 GMT), UIA flight PS752 took off from Imam Khomeini International Airport.
The aircraft was a Boeing 737-800 – one of the global airline company industry’s most widely used aircraft models.
Before it had left the airport’s air space, the plane appeared to reverse to go back to the runway. Quickly later on, it crashed.
The aircraft’s “black boxes”, which record flight data and sound within the cockpit, were recuperated from the wreckage.
However there have actually also been reports that mechanical diggers were sent out to the crash site prior to worldwide investigators had gotten here, triggering speculation that evidence was being destroyed.
Mike Pompeo What caused the crash?
The government in Tehran at first said the UIA aircraft suffered a technical problem soon after take-off. It cited witnesses including the team of another traveler plane who stated it was on fire prior to effect.
Authorities stated they lost radar contact when the aircraft was at an elevation of about 8,000 ft (2,400 m), minutes after taking off.
No radio distress signal was made by the pilot, the report stated.
Nevertheless, the timing of the mishap – simply hours after Iran had actually introduced rockets at United States targets in Iraq – provoked speculation about other possible causes.
Air travel professionals were fast to call into question claims in Iranian state media that the crash was most likely to have actually been triggered by an engine fire.
Industrial airplane are created to be able to hold up against – in general – a failed engine and to land safely.
On Thursday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said evidence recommended an Iranian missile brought down the aircraft by accident.
” We have intelligence from several sources, including our allies and our own intelligence,” Mr Trudeau told a press conference in Ottawa. “The evidence suggests that the aircraft was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air rocket. This might well have been unintended.”
He was echoing earlier reports in United States media which stated Pentagon officials were positive that the airplane was shot down.
And evidence was starting to back up the missile-shooting theory.
Video on social media revealed a missile spotting across the night sky and exploding near the airplane. (The New york city Times later on released a video that appeared to show 2 missiles targeting the airliner. It’s believed the initial strike disabled the aircraft’s transponder prior to the second strike around 23 seconds later. )
Three days after the mishap, a statement by Iran’s armed force read on state TV and said the plane was lowered “accidentally”.
Mike Pompeo Have the Iranians described whatever?
There is general Iranian admission of guilt, but contrasting descriptions about the exact sequence of occasions.
President Hassan Rouhani described the crash as an “unforgivable error”.
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei ordered the military to examine “the possible shortcomings or errors” that caused the crash.
The initial Iranian military declaration said the aircraft’s downing was due to “human error” after the aircraft had flown near a “delicate website” coming from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps.
The industrial airliner was mistaken for a “hostile aircraft”, the statement stated.
Hours later on, the guy accountable for the unit that fired the rocket, Revolutionary Guards aerospace leader Brig-Gen Amir Ali Hajizadeh informed reporters the aircraft had actually been shot down by a short-range rocket that took off beside it.
The Iranian operator had mistaken the Boeing for a “cruise rocket”. They tried to communicate with it and waited on 10 seconds for a reply prior to deciding to open fire, the general stated.
He included that a demand had been made for a no-fly zone in the area prior to the incident but this was turned down. The factors for this remain uncertain.
In reality, it appears the Iranian strikes on US bases did not affect operations at Imam Khomenei International Airport on Wednesday morning. Flight PS752 was the ninth to take off after the strikes, according to Flightradar24
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Mike Pompeo Is this most likely to end the controversy?
Iran’s admission of obligation is an effort at de-escalation, says the BBC’s chief worldwide reporter Lyse Doucet
However a crucial concern remains.
Gen Hajizadeh told the media that he had actually informed the authorities about what had actually occurred on Wednesday – the day of the mishap.
So why did it take 3 days for Iran to confess?
The president of Ukraine International Airlines said: “We didn’t doubt for a 2nd that our crew and our airplane could not be the cause for this terrible crash”.
However the business has actually denied that the plane drifted from its expected course prior to the crash. It says officials must have closed the airport.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gotten in touch with Iran to punish those responsible. “We expect Iran … to bring the guilty to the courts,” he stated.
And Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated: “We will continue working with our partners around the world to guarantee a complete and extensive examination.”
Mike Pompeo What will the investigation appear like?
Under international procedure, the country where the plane crashes generally leads the examination.
As the airplane was made in the United States, US officials, consisting of from its National Transport Safety Board (NTSB), would usually take part in any questions.
Iran had at first eliminated handing over any info to the United States authorities – after all, in addition to the existing stress, the 2 countries have no diplomatic relations.
However, Iran’s representative at the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization told Reuters on Thursday that Iran had actually formally invited the NTSB to take part in the examination, and it has consented to designate a detective.
Boeing, the airplane’s manufacturer, has stated it is ready to help in the investigation and will support the NTSB.
However it is unclear what kind of examination can be carried out now that it is known the plane did not crash, but was lowered.
Mike Pompeo Who was on board?
The guest manifest lists 176 people – 15 of them children – offering their names and dates of birth, however not their citizenships.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko initially launched details that stated there were 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians consisting of all 9 team, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Britons and 3 Germans on board.
However, on 10 January, Canada’s Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne stated the variety of Canadians on the aircraft was now believed to be 57.
The German government likewise contradicted the Ukrainian figures. It said it was not mindful that any of its people had been on board the flight.
It later on emerged that three Afghans – a mother and her two children – who had actually been approved asylum in the country were travelers on the downed flight.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday that four British nationals were on board.
Some of the differences the figures may well be due to double citizenships.
Iran’s head of emergency operations stated 147 of the victims were Iranian. That would suggest that 65 of the foreign nationals had dual nationalities, which Iran does not recognise.
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