Iran arrests over shooting down of Ukrainian plane
UNTV News • January 14, 2020 • 568
Tehran – Iran has made several arrests linked to the shooting down of a Ukrainian plane last week which killed 176 civilians last week, the judiciary said Tuesday.
“Thorough investigations have taken place and some individuals are arrested,” judiciary spokesperson Gholamhossein Esmaili said in a press conference, adding no further details.
A Boeing 737 belonging to Ukrainian International Airlines (UIA) bound for Kiev was shot down shortly after taking off from the Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran on 8 January when it was mistaken for a cruise missile, according to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
The tragedy occurred amid a sharp escalation of tension between the United States and Iran.
Iran was expecting a retaliatory attack to its bombing hours earlier of a military base used by US troops in Iraq.
The downing of the plane, initially denied by the Iranian authorities, has caused a backlash among Iranians and has led in recent days to several protests against the country’s Islamic system.
Due to the magnitude and controversy of this case, Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, said “a special court with a high-ranking judge and dozens of experts” would lead investigations into the error that caused the downing.
“This is not a normal case and the whole world will follow it in our court,” said the president. He added that a “single individual” could not be blamed for the tragedy.
In this regard, he said that the culprit is not only the person who pressed the button and fired the missile, according to a statement from the Iranian Presidency.
“The government will continue its efforts until all aspects of the incident are investigated and to ensure that those involved are punished and that these things will not happen again,” he said.
Rouhani blamed the US in his speech, which, he said, shifted the environment and made the situation abnormal.
He added that did not mean the root causes of the accident should not be addressed.
Some 167 passengers were traveling on the plane, including 82 Iranians and 63 Canadians, although the latter mostly with dual citizenship. The nine crew members were Ukrainian. EFE-EPA
The January U.S. drone strike in Iraq that killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and nine other people represented a violation of international law, a U.N. human rights investigator said on Thursday (July 9).
The United States has failed to provide sufficient evidence of an ongoing or imminent attack against its interests to justify the strike on Soleimani’s convoy as it left Baghdad airport, said Agnes Callamard, U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.
The attack violated the U.N. Charter, Callamard wrote in a report calling for accountability for targeted killings by armed drones and for greater regulation of the weapons.
Callamard presented her findings to the Human Rights Council, giving member states a chance to debate what action to pursue. The United States is not a member of the forum, having quit two years ago.
Soleimani, leader of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, was a pivotal figure in orchestrating Iran’s campaign to drive U.S. forces out of Iraq, and built up Iran’s network of proxy armies across the Middle East. Washington had accused Soleimani of masterminding attacks by Iranian-aligned militias on U.S. forces in the region.
The Jan. 3 drone strike was the first known incident in which a nation invoked self-defence as a justification for an attack against a state actor in the territory of a third country, Callamard added.
Iran retaliated with a rocket attack on an Iraqi air base where U.S. forces were stationed. Hours later, Iranian forces on high alert mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian passenger airliner taking off from Tehran.
Iran has issued an arrest warrant for U.S. President Donald Trump and 35 others over Soleimani’s killing and has asked Interpol for help, Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr said on June 29, according to the semi-official Fars news agency. (Reuters)
U.S. Iran envoy Brian Hook said on Monday (June 29) that an Iranian arrest warrant for President Donald Trump and 35 others over the killing of top general Qassem Soleimani was a “propaganda stunt”.
Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr announced the warrants, asking Interpol for help, according to the Fars news agency.
Hook speaking in Saudi Arabia alongside Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs Adel al-Jubeir, said: “This is a political nature. This has nothing to do with national security, international peace, or promoting stability. It is a propaganda stunt that no-one takes seriously.”
The United States and Interpol both dismissed the idea of acting on such a warrant.
The United States killed Soleimani, leader of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, with a drone strike in Iraq on Jan. 3. Washington accused Soleimani of masterminding attacks by Iranian-aligned militias on U.S. forces in the region.
Alqasimehr said the warrants had been issued on charges of murder and terrorist action. He said Iran had asked Interpol to issue a “red notice” seeking the arrest of Trump and the other individuals the Islamic Republic accuses of taking part in the killing of Soleimani. (Reuters)
(Production: Mohammed Benmansour, Matthew Stock, Aiden Nulty)
Iran may face a second outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, a government spokesman said on Wednesday (March 25), as the Islamic Republic banned internal travel and traditional gatherings in parks during the Persian New Year holiday period.
According to state TV, spokesman Ali Rabiei said people ignoring advice from health ministry officials travelled for the New Year holiday, which began on March 20, and could cause a second wave.
President Hassan Rouhani has banned any new trips between cities, Rabiei said, and warned of legal steps against people ignoring the ban.
The escalating outbreak in Iran has killed 2,077 people so far the health ministry said on Wednesday, with 143 deaths recorded in the past 24 hours.
At a meeting telecast live, Rouhani said more restrictions would be introduced to contain the coronavirus that has infected 27,017 people nationwide. The government has so far stopped short of imposing a lockdown on Iranian cities.
Authorities have called on Iranians to avoid public places and stay at home, while schools, universities, cultural and sports centres have been temporarily closed across the country.
Rouhani said the new measures would be implemented for 15 days until April 4, when under normal circumstances schools open in Iran after the New Year holidays. (Reuters)
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