Protests in Tehran after Iran admits 'unintentionally' shooting down plane

11 January 2020, 20:27

Protestors are calling for Iran's supreme leader to quit
Protestors are calling for Iran's supreme leader to quit. Picture: Getty

By Maddie Goodfellow

Protestors have descended on the streets of Tehran demanding Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stand down from his role after Iran admitted that they were responsible for the Ukrainian Airlines crash that killed 176 people.

Hundreds of demonstrators have gathered outside the capital's Amir Kabir university demanding change at the top of the Iranian regime after the country made the announcement on Saturday.

People can be heard chanting for the Supreme leader to resign.

Western intelligence had previously said they believed Iran was responsible, which was supported by leaders including Boris Johnson and Justin Trudeau.

Iran admitted on Saturday that the jet had been struck by a short-range missile.

The Ukraine International Airlines flight had only taken off from Tehran International Airport a few minutes before it came crashing down to the ground, killing all 176 passengers and crew.

Protests in Tehran
Protests in Tehran. Picture: Getty
Students are protesting
Students are protesting. Picture: Getty

Local media is reporting that demonstrators ripped up pictures of Major General Qassem Soleimani, who was assasinated by US forces on January 3.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has tweeted that the protests were a sign that the Iranian people "are fed up with the regime's lies, corruption, ineptitude and brutality".

Iran had previously denied any involvement with the crash, insisting that it was the result of a technical fault.

However, on Saturday they admitted involvement.

Boris Johnson called Iran's move "an important first step" before calling for " a comprehensive, transparent and independent international investigation" into the crash.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said of the crisis: "Our focus remains closure, accountability, transparency, and justice for the families and loved ones of the victims.

"This is a national tragedy, and all Canadians are mourning together.

"We will continue working with our partners around the world to ensure a complete and thorough investigation, and the Canadian government expects full cooperation from Iranian authorities."

Mr Johnson echoed him, saying: "The UK will work closely with Canada, Ukraine and our other international partners affected by this accident to ensure this happens.

"This tragic accident only reinforces the importance of de-escalating tensions in the region. We can all see very clearly that further conflict will only lead to more loss and tragedy. It is vital that all leaders now pursue a diplomatic way forward."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy isdemanding that those behind the crash "must be held accountable" and that the victims be repatriated "immediately".

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