On January 5, right after the IRGC’s missile attacks on American bases in Iraq, a Ukrainian passenger plane crashed near Teheran. The 737 Boeing aircraft left Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran at 6:12 a.m. Wednesday. There were 176 people aboard, including nine crew members, according to the airline.
American media quickly began to circulate information that the crash was connected to the attack on the American bases, despite limited information. Pentagon officials quickly began to claim that the Iranians had shot the aircraft down. Washington attempted to substantiate its claims by saying that Iran was refusing to send the plane’s flight recorders to Boeing.
“We will not give the black box to the manufacturer and the Americans,” – declared the head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization Ali Abedzadeh.
The decision kicked off a massive anti-Iran media campaign, where the country was widely assumed to be guilty for the crash: Western media sources at this point began to claim that Iran had mistakenly shot down the plane. However, all of the news sources that covered the story cited the opinion of 2 anonymous US officials.
Iran mistakenly shot down Ukrainian passenger plane that crashed on Wednesday near Tehran, US media report https://t.co/JMUJhBWG6V
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) January 9, 2020
BREAKING: Two US officials say it’s “highly likely” that an Iranian anti-aircraft missile brought down a Ukrainian passenger plane. https://t.co/DU54koa7o6
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 9, 2020
DEVELOPING: Spy satellite evidence suggests Ukraine International Airlines passenger airliner was likely shot down by mistake by Iranian anti-aircraft missiles in Iran, US intel officials assert. https://t.co/nO3BfeDN9Y
— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 9, 2020
Breaking News: U.S. officials say they have a “high level of confidence” that Iran accidentally shot down the Ukrainian passenger plane that went down this week, killing at least 176 people.https://t.co/qdAjhRYmCR
— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 9, 2020
President Donald Trump suggested that the plane crashed, because “somebody could’ve made a mistake on the other side.”
JUST IN: President Trump on Ukrainian plane crash: “I have my suspicions… It’s a tragic thing when I see that, it’s a tragic thing. But somebody could have made a mistake on the other side.” https://t.co/XFrqZJEPns pic.twitter.com/pm4npge5xV
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) January 9, 2020
Later at a news conference in Ottawa, Canadian prime-minister Justin Trudeau said that Canada has intelligence from multiple sources indicating that the Ukrainian airliner was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile.
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau addresses Tehran plane crash, saying, “evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile” and stresses need for a “thorough investigation.”
— ABC News (@ABC) January 9, 2020
Curiously, the day before, western intelligence had said exactly the opposite, declaring that the plane had not been hit by the missile.
Later the Western media amended its story, saying they had “accidentally” found the video of “missile attack.” The fact that the camera person just happened to be filming in the right place at the right time, however, began to draw suspicion. Was this just a coincidence, or had the person filming been a participant in the provocation?
“They are spreading propaganda that the Ukrainian flight was targeted,” the Iranian news media quoted Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi, a senior spokesman for the Iranian military. “This is ridiculous. Most of the passengers on this flight were our valued young Iranian men and women. Whatever we do, we do it for the protection and defense of our country and our people.”
Ali Abedzadeh, head of the Iranian Civil Aviation Authority, said that the West’s missile theory was unscientific and didn’t match the facts.
Ukrainian authorities suggested that Iran could be culpable in the catastrophe. Denying the accusations, Iranians officials started investigations regarding the possibility that the US had been involved in the crash.
Why is the US blaming Iran?
Trump’s long-term escalation in tensions between the US and Iran has brought the two countries to the brink of catastrophe. This is all despite the fact that Trump was seen as a president who would break away from this kind of classical neoconservative agenda. Trump’s withdrawal of troops from Syria and his declarations about the necessity of concentrating on the US’ domestic issues seemed to indicate he would move away from any new escalation; Trump had even criticized his predecessors for committing war crimes. Nonetheless, the assassination of Soleimani shows that he is no different than previous presidents. Trump revealed himself to be an irrational follower of the neoconservative agenda, whose efforts to destabilize the Middle East can be compared to the US invasion of Iraq or the American’s bloody role in the war in Syria.
The argument that Iran is responsible for the downed aircraft is convenient, as it gives the US a reason to move closer toward a war with Iran, a long time goal of Trump’s international partners: Israel, Saudi Arabia etc. An all out war between the US and Iran is seeming more likely everyday.
The idea that the Ukrainian Boeing aircraft was destroyed by the US is supported by some sources in Iranian military who say that the US planned to destroy a government plane carrying people responsible for the attack on the American bases in Ain al-Assad and Erbil. “We consider this version to be the most likely, especially since before the plane crashed, a MQ-1 Predator UAV, which is now in service mainly with the US, was found in the vicinity. When we are able to confirm this version of events, it will be voiced by the country’s leadership.” The attack could have been launched from the American base in Iraqi Kurdistan. The US could be looking for a direction operation against Iran’s leaders, including the commanders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, senior officials from the country’s Ministry of Defense and Foreign Ministry officials.
This version is far from unlikely– let’s not forget that the United States already once shot down a civilian aircraft in Iranian airspace. On July 3, 1988, under similar circumstances, the US Navy cruiser Vincennes launched a ground-to-air missile destroying Iran Air’s Airbus A300 airliner. The attack was carried out 7 minutes after the departure of the flight from the airport in Bender-Abbas. The US explained the incident by the fact that the civilian aircraft was mistaken for an Iranian Air Force F-14 fighter, but refused to apologize.
The US undoubtedly benefits from the crash or destruction of the Ukrainian aircraft. There are 3 possible scenarios: the plane could have crashed due to technical problems, it could have been shot down by Iranian missiles (although this version has no substantive arguments in its favor and is based solely on anonymous US officials and fake-photos spread by the anti-Iranian MEK network) or it could have been destroyed by US (mistakenly or as a provocation).
The thesis that the Iranian government shut down an airplane where 82 of the 178 passengers on board were Iranian is patently absurd: it is far more likely that the US is responsible for the attack. Trump’s assassination of Soleimani has already severely escalated tensions in the region, and now things are looking even more grim… just as Washington wanted.
Serious research must also be conducted regarding the involvement and possible participation of Israel in the attack. Last summer, Israel was blamed for launching a drone campaign in three Middle East countries. In September 2018, Israel intentionally exposed a Russian Il-20 aircraft to fire from Syrian air defense systems. Later, the Israeli Air Force more than once posed a direct threat to passenger aircraft in Syria, unscrupulously using civilians as cover.
Nonetheless, the arguments suggesting that Iran had destroyed the Ukrainian plane were very convenient for the Western media as were the accompaniment phrases and hashtags: “Ukrainian plane,” “Russian missiles systems (SA-15),” “Iranian aggression,” “the revenge of Iran,” The Ukrainian government, coordinating political decisions with the US as well as Boeing (one of the Pentagon’s major weapons contractors) could modify its reports in order to suit Washington’s political agenda.