Iran said on Tuesday it had arrested people accused of a role in shooting down a Ukrainian airliner and had also detained 30 people involved in protests that have swept the nation for four days since the military belatedly admitted its error.
Wednesday’s shooting down of Ukraine International Airlines flight 752, which killed all 176 people aboard, has created a new crisis for the Islamic Republic’s clerical rulers.
President Hassan Rouhani promised a thorough investigation into the “unforgivable error” in an address on Tuesday. It was the latest in a series of apologies by the leadership that has done little to quell public anger.
Britain, France and Germany also increased diplomatic pressure on Iran, launching a dispute mechanism to challenge Tehran for breaching limits on its nuclear programme under an agreement which Washington abandoned in 2018.
Tehran has faced an escalating confrontation with the West and a wave of unrest since the United States killed Iran’s most powerful military commander in a drone strike on Jan. 3.
Iran shot down the plane on Wednesday when its military was on high alert, hours after firing missiles at U.S. targets in Iraq. It admitted the mistake on Saturday after days of denials.