- Boris Johnson welcomed Iran’s admission that it shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 as an “important first step.”
- The UK prime minister urged world leaders to “pursue a diplomatic way forward” and called for an thorough investigation into the disaster, which killed 176 people.
- Iran on Saturday accepted full responsibility for downing the plane.
- A senior Iranian commander said he would rather have died than witness the plane crash.
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Boris Johnson says Iran’s admission that it was responsible for shooting down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was an “important first step” and has urged world leaders involved to “pursue a diplomatic way forward.”
The United Kingdom’s prime minister on Saturday called for a “comprehensive, transparent, and independent international investigation” into the disaster, which resulted in the death of all 176 passengers.
Iran on Saturday admitted to shooting down the passenger jet this week, saying that it had mistaken the plane for a threat — specifically a cruise missile — after it flew close to one of its sensitive military sites.
In a statement released today, Prime Minister Johnson said: “Iran’s admission that Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was shot down by mistake by its own armed forces is an important first step.
“This will be an incredibly difficult time for all those families who lost loved ones in such tragic circumstances. We will do everything we can to support the families of the four British victims and ensure they get the answers and closure they deserve,” he said.
“We now need a comprehensive, transparent and independent international investigation and the repatriation of those who died. The UK will work closely with Canada, Ukraine and our other international partners affected by this accident to ensure this happens.”
The disaster happened on Wednesday, just hours after Iran fired missiles at US military bases in Iraq in retaliation for President Trump’s decision to assassinate Iranian military general, Qassem Soleimani.
In his statement, Johnson reiterated the need for all sides to de-escalate.
“This tragic accident only reinforces the importance of de-escalating tensions in the region. We can all see very clearly that further conflict will only lead to more loss and tragedy.”
“It is vital that all leaders now pursue a diplomatic way forward.”
Amirali Hajizadeh, the Iran Revolutionary Guard’s head of aerospace, on Saturday said that Iranian security forces accepted full responsibility for downing the plane, in a video posted online by Iranian state television.
“I wish I could die and not witness such an accident,” Hajizadeh said.
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