IPANEWS

Protests erupt in Iran over shooting of Ukrainian passenger jet 

Protests have erupted in Iran following the regime’s admission that its forces had shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet airliner claiming the lives of 176 people.

Numerous videos appeared on social media showing protesters calling for the country’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to step down.

Calls were also made for President Hassan Rouhani to step down.

Initially, the Iranian regime had denied shooting down the Boeing 737-800, claiming that the crash was due to a technical error.

However, on Saturday morning, the regime conceded that it was Iranian forces that had shot down the airliner.

“The plane was unintentionally hit due to human error, which unfortunately has resulted in the martyrdom of dear compatriots and the loss of a number of foreign nationals,” the official IRNA news agency tweeted on Saturday morning.

IRNA later quoted Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) air force commander, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, as saying: “When I was convinced this had happened, I wished that I was dying and not witnessing it.”

However, the acknowledgment and apologies by the Iranian regime appear to stoked widespread anger.

Protesters were also calling on the (IRGC) to leave the country.

The downing of the jet followed the firing of several missiles on Friday at two US military bases in Iraq.

The Iranian missile strike was carried out in retaliation against a U.S. drone strike on January 3 on the outskirts of Baghdad’s airport that claimed the life of IRGC Quds commander Qassem Soleimani. Also killed were four members of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), including Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the Iraqi-Iranian military commander who headed the PMF.

The protests did not go unnoticed in Washington, with U.S. President Donald Trump calling on the regime to allow human rights groups to monitor the protests and not to shut down social media. He made the call in a tweet that was written in Farsi.

Rouhani reportedly called Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday morning to apologize for the tragedy.

Most of those who perished aboard the flight were Iranian or Canadian.

Iran retaliates over Soleimani’s assassination with missile attack 

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