Iran accepts “full responsibility” for Ukrainian airlines shooting down
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General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said on state TV that forces were on high alert, and that an officer mistook the plane for a hostile missile and made the “bad decision” to open fire, The Associated Press reported. He said he “wished” he “was dead” when he learned about the downing of the aircraft.

Earlier on Saturday, Iran announced its military “unintentionally” shot down the jetliner and blamed “human error.”

The jetliner crashed early Wednesday in the hours after Iran launched missile attacks on two Iraqi military bases housing American troops. The attacks were a response to the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani days earlier.

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Rescue teams on January 8, 2020 at the scene of a Ukrainian airliner that crashed shortly after take-off near Imam Khomeini airport in the Iranian capital Tehran.AKBAR TAVAKOLI/GETTY IMAGES

Hundreds protest at universities in Tehran

Hundreds gathered at universities in Tehran Saturday night to protest the government’s late acknowledgement of the plane being shot down. They demanded officials involved in the missile attack be removed from their positions and tried.

Police broke up the demonstrations.

Sweden: Iran must take full responsibility

Sweden’s prime minister said the country is demanding Iran cooperate without any restrictions in investigating the downing of the jetliner.

“The fact that a plane was shot down is terrible and horrifying,” Stefan Lofven said Saturday. “To have a civil aircraft shot down – whether accidentally or not – is an act that must be condemned and Iran must take full responsibility also in relation to those affected.”

A total of 10 people with Swedish citizenship and another seven residing in Scandinavian country are believed to have been aboard Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752 flying out of the Iranian capital.

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