While attending a mourning ceremony for two of the plane incident victims on Sunday, Shamkhani said no effort was made to cover up the reasons behind the crash of a Ukrainian plane in Southwest Tehran, emphasizing that covering up such incident was impossible in view of its nature and characteristics.
He noted that the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran has been the main party to mourn over this bitter incident.
“There was no intention to cover up the reasons behind this incident from the very beginning, taking into account that such a cover-up was actually impossible in view of the nature and technical characteristics of the crash,” Shamkhani said.
“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 [of enemy agents]’, and other related factors,” Shamkhani added.
“From the earliest hours after the plane crash, the Islamic Republic of Iran invited experts from the concerned countries to conduct unrestricted investigation, which is a sign of our goodwill gesture to closely follow up on the cause of the crash and announce the results of the investigations,” the secretary of the SNSC further said.
In conclusion, Shamkhani stressed, "It must be noted that proving any of the factors that led to firing of the missile [at the Ukrainian plane] could completely change the way that the public was informed about the incident as well as the country’s response to it.”
Iran has vowed full cooperation with countries whose nationals lost their lives in the crash, particularly Canada which had 63 citizens on board the plane.
Furthermore, Iranian authorities have promised a thorough investigation into the incident and vowed that all those responsible for the tragedy will be held into account.
Early on Saturday, the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces said in a statement that Ukrainian Boeing 737 Plane has been shot down as a hostile object due to human error at a time of heightened US threats of war.
The statement said an expert investigation by the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces after the Ukrainian airline company's Boeing 737 incident has found that flight 752 of the Ukrainian airlines has been shot down as a hostile flying object that was approaching a sensitive IRGC center and was shot down due to human error few hours after Iran's missile attack on the US and as Iran's military was expecting attacks by the US army.
"Following threats by the criminal US president and military commanders to strike a large number of targets on the Islamic Republic of Iran's territory in case of an Iranian attack and due to the unprecedented aerial movements in the region, the Islamic Republic of Iran's Armed Forces were on highest levels of alert to respond to any possible threats," the statement said.
"In the early hours after the missile attack, military flights of the US terrorist forces increased around the country and defense units received some reports about flying objects that were moving towards the country's strategic centers as several targets appeared on radar screens which made the air defense units more sensitive," it added.
"Under such sensitive and critical circumstances, flight number 752 of the Ukrainian airline company left Imam Khomeini airport and then approached a sensitive military center after a turn, positioning itself at the altitude and form of a hostile flight and was hit because of a human error and unintentionally under such conditions, and as a result a number of our country men and women and some foreign citizens lost their lives," it added.
The statement extended the Iranian Armed Forces' apology and condolences to the families of the victims for the incident resulting from human error, and ensured prosecution of those guilty.
The Armed Forces also ensured that it will immediately start fundamental revisions and reforms in operational procedures to make such human errors impossible.
A Boeing 737 plane carrying 180 passengers and crew, mostly Iranians, crashed shortly after takeoff from Imam Khomeini Airport in Tehran early Wednesday, leaving no survivors.