Iran: Ukrainian air­liner down­ing due to hu­man er­ror not cy­ber­at­tack

Iran Daily - - National -

The down­ing of a Ukrainian air­liner in Iran in Jan­uary was due to hu­man er­ror and not a cy­ber­at­tack on Iran’s mis­sile or air de­fense sys­tems, the mil­i­tary prosecutor for Tehran Prov­ince Gho­lam-ab­bas Torki said on Mon­day.

There was no in­di­ca­tion that the down­ing of the air­liner, which killed all 176 peo­ple aboard, was due to a cy­ber­at­tack on Iran’s mis­sile or air de­fense sys­tems, Torki said, adding that three peo­ple were un­der ar­rest re­lated to the ac­ci­dent.

The air­liner was shot down shortly af­ter take­off in Tehran, when Iran’s air de­fenses were on high alert, hours af­ter Iran had fired mis­siles at a US base in Iraq in re­tal­i­a­tion for the as­sas­si­na­tion of Ira­nian Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Qassem Soleimani, com­man­der of Is­lamic Rev­o­lu­tion Guards Corps’ Quds Force.

“The portable sys­tem which fired the mis­sile did not ac­cu­rately de­ter­mine the real north af­ter re­boot­ing, and this huge mis­take caused the op­er­a­tor of the air de­fense sys­tem to see the plane on its radar as a tar­get that is ap­proach­ing Tehran from the north­west­ern re­gion,” Torki said.

He added that the op­er­a­tor of the air de­fense sys­tem no­ti­fied the tar­get to the rel­e­vant co­or­di­na­tion cen­ter, but did not re­ceive a re­sponse.

“Un­for­tu­nately, the op­er­a­tor fired while the con­nec­tion was dis­con­nected only for a few sec­onds,” he said.

“The big­gest mis­take was that the sys­tem fired with­out re­ceiv­ing per­mis­sion from the net­work,” he stressed.

Torki said that the peo­ple who have been made the mis­takes have been ar­rested.

Torki added that the black boxes of the air­liner have been phys­i­cally dam­aged and read­ing them is tech­ni­cally com­pli­cated.

Ira­nian Deputy For­eign Min­is­ter Mohsen Ba­har­vand said on Sun­day that de­cod­ing the black boxes of the Ukrainian plane will be­gin on July 20.

France’s BEA crash in­ves­ti­ga­tion agency also said on Fri­day it would down­load the black boxes from the air­liner at Iran’s re­quest.


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