But downing the airliner and killing all passengers, including 147 Iranians, seem not to be all the story. The evidence narrates that other factors were engaged in the disaster. However, the motivations of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) have yet to be revealed.
The propaganda apparatus immediately launched a wide misinformation campaign and spread fake news to conceal the scale of the crime. The revelation of the conversation of the Aseman Airlines’ pilot with the Tehran Airport watchtower by Ukrainian officials displayed that the supreme leader Ali Khamenei was informed about the truth from the onset.
This conversation also proved that Iranian authorities had realized that the airliner has been downed by the IRGC anti-aircraft system, however, they denied admitting the truth for three days. Indeed, they continued secrecy and justifying the event even after admitting to their horrific crime.
Disgusting Lying for Covering the Murderer
In the early hours after the downing of the Ukrainian airliner, Iranian officials widely claimed that the plane crashed due to a “technical defect.” They attempted to cease the public anger by covering up the IRGC’s role in killing 176 innocent people.
“Ukraine’s news agency has published the voice conversation between the Aseman’s pilot with the watchtower while the missiles were shot. The Aseman Airlines’ pilot in Persian said that he sees the light of launching a missile also an explosion, but the watchtower raised its ignorance.
Then the watchtower tried to contact with the Ukrainian airlines’ pilot nine times, however, it didn’t receive any response,” the state-run newspaper Jahan Sanat wrote on February 4.
Notably, it was later exposed that a pilot of Qatari airlines, who was flying near to the incident place, has acknowledged the watchtower about the launching missile. “In reports given to the Committee on Development, an exchange similar to what was in the disclosed audio file had been reported by a Qatar Airways crew,” Abolfazl Mousavi, a member of the parliament’s Civil Commission said on February 3.
“The Ukrainian aircraft had all the necessary licenses from the watchtower. According to [regular] procedures, the watchtower was also in compliance with the defense system and had investigated radar systems. At the time, studies rejected the hypothesis that the system was hacked,” Mousavi added.
Evidence revealed that the head of Civil Aviation Organization Ali Abedzadeh as the highest official of the aviation organization was immediately informed that the airliner had been shot down by an IRGC missile.
However, he rejected the “hypothesis” of missile hitting and claimed that a “technical defect” was the reason for the crash. “Many reasons prove that there is no relation between the crash of the Ukrainian and the country’s defense system.
It is not technically possible that the airplane was exploded by a shooting missile,” Abedzadeh said in an interview with the state-run TV Channel One on January 9.
Notably, on January 11, the chief of the IRGC Aerospace Force Amir Ali Hajizadeh admitted that he had informed other officials in the earlier hours. “In the first hours that I was informed [Wednesday morning], I informed my superiors.
“[My forces] told me, ‘we shot down a target.’ I was in the west of the country… I made a phone call and informed officials about the incident. I said, ‘with a high probability we have shot down our planes!” Hajizadeh said in an interview with the state-run TV Channel Six news on January 11.
Iran’s Propaganda Apparatus
In this respect, it would be beneficial to review the misinformation campaign that spread fake news by the state-run media outlets and officials.
“This Boeing 737 of the Ukrainian Airlines fell afoul of a technical defect and crashed after taking off from the [airport],” the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) quoted the country’s Emergency spokesperson Mojtaba Khaledi as saying on January 8.
“The plane would explode in the sky if the incident was caused by rocket fire. However, the fire at the plane’s engine and the pilot’s unsuccessful attempt to control the plane resulted in the crash and death of all those aboard,” the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) quoted the spokesperson of Ministry of Roads and Urban Development Qassem Biniaz as saying on January 9.
“The cause of the plane crash depends on its type and model that caused the successive crashes,” the state-run newspaper Mashreq published on January 8.
“Director-General of the department of Tehran’s Crises Management said, ’A Ukrainian Airlines Boeing 737 fell afoul of a technical defect after taking off from the airport,’” the state-run newspaper Aftab published on January 11.
“Chief spokesman for the General Staff of the Armed Forces Abolfazl Shekarchi called speculation about the plane crash by the IRGC as a rumor, saying, ‘Definitely this issue is raised by [Mojahedin-e Khalq] for the benefit of the Americans. It is another conspiracy in the psychological warfare,’” the state-run Mashreq website published on January 8.
“Earlier Friday, Iran denied Western allegations that one of its own missiles downed the jetliner that crashed early Wednesday outside Tehran,” the Associated Press wrote on January 11.
The Iranian Government’s Plan for Concealing the Organized Crime
Although from the early hours all the evidence was confirmed that the airliner was downed by a missile fired by the IRGC, however, the Iranian government apparatuses comprehensively attempted to cover the truth.
This is only a sample of great distrust between the Iranian people and authorities, who have killed their citizens on the hand, and also reject the people’s basic right about the tragedy’s truth.
“Several officials certainly knew about the conversation between the pilot and the watchtower; however, they didn’t dare to publish what would cause detriment to society… Most importantly, at least civil aviation officials, [the organization of] air accidents’ officials, watchtower, Aseman Airlines’ pilot, and the head of Aseman Airlines Aviation were aware of the incident.
Therefore, how didn’t they inform their superior? Even though the head of the Civil Aviation Organization definitely rejected the missile hit time and again in interviews?” Hamdeli newspaper published on February 4.
Additionally, the director of the airline accidents organization Hassan Rezaeifar criticized Ukrainian officials for revealing the audio file, saying, “This file was a part of documents we offered Ukrainian experts in the joint team for investigating about the aerial incident.”
He also blamed the Ukrainian government for the failure of government propaganda. “The publication of conversation audio between pilot and watchtower was in violation of the law since the file was classified as confidential,” Ebtekar newspaper quoted Rezaeifar as saying on February 4.
However, given officials’ knowledge about the conversation in addition to the Qatari pilot’s report, why have the president Hassan Rouhani, the head of the IRGC Hossein Salami, the spokesman of the administration Ali Rabiei, officials of the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development, and officials of Iran’s Aviation organization still tried to conceal the truth?
On the other hand, officials confirmed that they were on high alert at the night of taking “harsh revenge” on the U.S. bases in Iraq for the death of the chief of IRGC’s Quds Force Qassem Soleimani.
However, they didn’t realize why they didn’t cancel flights when they expected a retaliatory attack by the U.S.? Did the Iranian government abuse passenger flights as a human barrier against possible foreign attacks?
Also, why were two missiles fired at the airliner, while the so-called missile or offensive aircraft was moving from the capital toward the borders? And while any ordinary person can recognize a passenger airliner from a military aircraft, didn’t Aerospace Forces truly recognize the difference?
Iranian Authorities’ Concerns About Revealing the Truth
“A leaked audio recording of an Iranian pilot talking to the control tower in Tehran shows that Iran knew immediately it had shot down a Ukrainian airliner last month, despite denying it for days,” Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on February 3. “He says that ‘it seems to me that a missile is flying’, he says it in both Persian and English, everything is fixed there,” the Ukrainian president said.
“Yet more proof that the UIA airplane was shot down with a missile, and there were no restrictions or warnings from dispatchers of any risk to flights of civilian aircraft in the vicinity of the airport,” Ukraine International Airways said in a statement.
The fact is the highest officials of Iran were deeply concerned about the reaction of the society over their unforgivable crime. Particularly, two months after their bloody crackdown on protesters in November, they have failed to escape Khamenei as the main culprit of the mentioned crime.
“Following the worldwide disclosure of astounding scheme of lies by Khamenei and Rouhani, and as the 40th day memorial of the victims is approaching, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), called on everyone to express sympathy with the families of the victims and protest against the mullahs’ demagogic regime.
She also underscored the need to prosecute Khamenei, Rouhani, and IRGC commanders by an international court. She added that the United Nations Security Council must hold to account the regime’s leaders for the martyrs of the November uprising and for the victims of the downed Ukrainian airliner,” the Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran said on February 4.