Iran made ‘important decision’ to admit fault for Ukrainian plane crash, now all sides must decrease tensions – Kazakh president

Kazakhstan’s leader has said that all sides must avoid further civilian deaths and work towards de-escalation, after Iran acknowledged that it mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane amid fears of war with the US.

Qasym-Jomart Toqayev wrote on Twitter that Iran’s decision to admit responsibility for the downing of the plane was “an important” one.

Under the current circumstances, all parties must show restraint in order to lower tensions, which also lead to civilian casualties.

Kazakhstani Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tleuberdi had previously expressed concern over the “deterioration” of the situation in the Middle East in a phone call with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif.

The Iranian army said its air defenses mistook the Kiev-bound Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 for a hostile target amid the flare-up with the US and shot the plane down after it took off from Tehran’s airport on Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board. Iran fired ballistic missiles at two bases in Iraq housing US troops, and was bracing for possible American airstrikes that day.

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FILE PHOTO: Flowers and candles are seen in front of a memorial to the Ukrainian jet flight crew at the Boryspil International airport outside Kiev, Ukraine January 8, 2020.
Rouhani apologizes to Zelensky on behalf of Iran for downing Ukrainian jet

The missile attack was a response to an earlier US drone strike in Iraq that killed Iranian high-ranking military commander Qassem Soleimani, who the US accused of plotting terrorist attacks.

Tehran promised a transparent probe into the tragedy and to punish those responsible. In a phone call with Iran’s Hassan Rouhani, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Iran admitting the downing was “a step in the right direction.” 

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