Iran says some people arrested for their role in Ukrainian plane crash

Mohamad Fakih CEO of Paramount Fine Foods

Iran on Tuesday announced its first arrests over the shooting down of a Ukrainian airliner in Tehran last week, after a third night of angry protests over the disaster.

O'Brien said student protests in Tehran that started Saturday, after Iran admitted that it mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet, killing all 176 aboard, in the hours after its attacks on the Iraqi bases, will also pressure Iranian leaders to renegotiate the nuclear treaty.

Iranian public anger, rumbling for days as Iran repeatedly denied it was to blame for January 8's plane crash, erupted into protests on Saturday when the military admitted it. Demonstrators turned out again on January 12.

A top Guards commander said he had told the authorities on the same day as the crash that a missile had brought down the plane, raising questions about why Iran had initially denied it.

Demonstrations were also held in the capital on Sunday night, according to unverified videos shared online, but it was hard to assess how many people attended.

Spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said investigations into the incident were continuing, but provided no details. "Anyone who should be punished must be punished".

Rouhani called for a special court to be set up with a ranking judge and dozens of experts to investigate the "tragic event". "This is not an ordinary case", he said, noting that the world will be watching.

"It can not be that only the person who pressed the button is at fault".

Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, said it took days to acknowledge the missile strike because investigators were looking down every possible avenue.

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The authorities' handling of the air disaster and has also angered people in Iran.

Iranian security forces fired both live ammunition and tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting against the Islamic Republic's initial denial that it shot down a Ukrainian jetliner, online videos purported to show Monday.

The tragedy occurred with Iran's air-defense forces on high alert following an Iranian ballistic-missile attack a few hours earlier against US forces in Iraq.

Footage circulating on social media showed the protesters deliberately avoiding trampling on Israeli and USA flags, just days after millions of Iranians took to the streets to mourn the killing of General Soleimani.

"I've talked about the tremendous grief and loss that Canadians are feeling and the need for clear answers on how this happened and how we're going to make sure it never happens again", Trudeau said. Many protesters, however, were angry not just about the mismanagement that led to the downing of the passenger plane, but because they believe they were lied to for three whole days.

"I was in Oman just at the weekend, talking to people in the region and they don't want a military conflict between the West and Iran".

"But more important than anything else, in my opinion, is that our people must be assured that this incident will not be repeated".

They have been invited by Iran, which is leading the crash probe, to participate in the downloading and analysis of the aircraft's cockpit voice and data recorders. While the Trump administration has described the Soleimani strike as a defensive measure against impending Iranian attacks, Democrats and some Republicans say it was not justified because there was no imminent Iranian threat.

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