Iran makes arrests over plane shootdown, president warns those responsible will be “punished”

Iran makes arrests over plane shootdown, president warns those responsible will be “punished”

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Iran said Tuesday it has arrested some people who are allegedly responsible for the downing of the civilian plane in Tehran amid anti-government protests across the country.

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How we got here: Three days after a Ukraine Boeing 737 crashed near the Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport and after Iran initially denied responsibility and refused to hand over the black boxes, the country's Revolutionary Guard admitted to hitting the plane with a missile by mistake. The incident happened hours after Iran launched missiles at U.S. bases in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

The way Iran handled the situation triggered protests on the streets of Tehran and across the country with demonstrators demanding that Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei step down. Footage of the protests showed authorities trying to disperse the crowds with tear gas and live ammunition, which wounded several protesters. Iran's police have denied shooting at civilians, as we reported at LaCorte News.

The announcement: Judicial spokesperson, Gholamhossein Esmaili, said in a press conference that “extensive investigations have taken place and some individuals have been arrested" in relation to the incident, adding that authorities have also detained 30 people in the protests.

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Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said everyone behind the accidental attack on the plane “should be punished," noting that the "responsibility falls on more than just one person," in a television address on Tuesday, reports Fox News. "The judiciary should form a special court with a ranking judge and dozens of experts. This is not an ordinary case. The entire world will be watching this court," he added.

Blaming the U.S.: Rouhani, after referring the shooting of the plane as an  "unforgivable error," said the U.S. shares the blame, suggesting it partly triggered the attack by killing Soleimani. “It was the U.S. that made for an agitated environment. It was the U.S. that created an unusual situation. It was the U.S. that threatened and took our beloved (Soleimani),” he said.

Upcoming meeting: Countries that had citizens on the plane, including Canada, Britain, and Ukraine, will meet Thursday in London to discussing legal steps against Tehran, Reuters reports.

Worth noting: Tehran still hasn't handed over the black boxes but did give Ukraine access to them and the crash site. France noted they're not expecting to get them, while Canada said they've been damaged.

"We haven't seen the extent of the damage, but extracting the data will pose some technical challenges for the Iranian investigating team," the head of Canada's transportation safety board said Monday.

You’re not crazy and we’re not insane. Come back to LaCorte News to get the news unspun.

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