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Protesters In Tehran Call For Justice Over Iran’s Downing Of Ukrainian Plane

Protesters outside a university in Tehran have called for justice after Iran admitted it mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane on January 8.

“Resignation is not enough,” protesters chanted outside Amir Kabir university on January 11 while demanding a trial for those responsible for the downing of the plane that killed all 176 people on board.

Amateur videos posted on social media also showed protesters chanting “dishonorable” in an apparent reference to Iranian authorities, who finally admitted that a missile fired by its forces caused the crash.

The authorities announcement — coming after repeated denials — left many Iranians in shock and grief.

Amirali Hajizadeh, the head of the aerospace division of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), said on January 11 that his unit accepts “full responsibility” for the tragedy.

In comments aired by state TV, he said that when he learned about the downing of the plane, “I wished I was dead.”

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressed his “deep sympathy” to the families of the 176 victims and called on the armed forces to “pursue probable shortcomings and guilt in the painful incident.”

Nearly half of those killed were Iranian citizens while many others were ethnic Iranians living in other countries.

Copyright (c) 2014. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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