Wow: Iran Admits To Shooting Down Ukraine 737

Filed Under: Ukraine

Well, Iran’s tune on this has changed very quickly.

Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, has just admitted that Iran shot down a Ukraine International Airlines 737-800 a few days ago, killing all 176 people onboard. As he stated in a Tweet:

A sad day. Preliminary conclusions of internal investigation by Armed Forces:

Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster

Our profound regrets, apologies and condolences to our people, to the families of all victims, and to other affected nations.

This was accompanied by a military statement, indicating that the plane was mistaken for a hostile target after it turned towards a sensitive military area:

“The military was at its highest level of readiness. In such a condition, because of human error and in an unintentional way, the flight was hit.”

The country has said that they’ll upgrade their systems to prevent such mistakes in the future, and that responsible parties would be referred to the judicial department and be held accountable.

On the one hand, on some level I have to give Iran credit for admitting this, as there are plenty of governments that would have tried to cover something like this up, even if there was evidence making it pretty clear what happened.

Not surprisingly, there’s also some blame shifting here — they’re emphasizing that crisis was “caused by US adventurism,” and that “led to disaster.” Personally I think the apology would have come across as more sincere if they left that out, though at the same time I don’t think the cause and effect conclusion is completely off base.

The US government shouldn’t be blamed directly or indirectly for the accident. At the same time, I think it’s also fairly likely that if the US hadn’t escalated the situation with Iran, this probably wouldn’t have happened. That’s not to say that the US is at fault in any way, but I do think there’s a cause and effect relationship here.

This revelation follows Iran claiming that the plane had a technical fault immediately following the crash, in spite of no evidence pointing in that direction.

We’ve seen international intelligence agencies suggest that the plane was shot down, and video footage has even surfaced of the alleged incident. This has caused some airlines to already cancel flights to Tehran.

This is an absolutely terrible and heartbreaking tragedy. There’s no other way to put it.

Maybe Iran owning up to this at least gives some closure to the families of the victims, rather than not knowing what happened, and going through a drawn out investigation that’s more about politics than the lives lost.

I’m curious to see what will happen following this admission, both politically and in terms of the impact on aviation in the country.

  1. “Maybe Iran owning up to this at least gives some closure to the families of those onboard”

    And also someone to sue…

  2. how dare you!

    YOU are an idiot and a real jerk. My credit card offers will come from the Points Guy from now on

  3. The US escalated the situation? They didn’t shoot anything at Iran. They took out a target in Baghdad. Iran is solely to blame for this tragedy. They’re the ones who decided to shoot ballistic missiles into Baghdad in response.

  4. I don’t really know what people mean by the US ‘escalating the situation’, they drone striked a General who was responsible for terrorists attacking the US Embassy in Baghdad and killing him is ‘causing tension’. Are people really oblivious to the fact that Iran started escalating Tensions and the US is in no fault for refusing to stand by like a bitch.

  5. Lucky, there’s no reason trying to be balanced here. These are a bunch of murderous thugs. The US took out their chief and now they blame the US for their killings and incompetence.

  6. Come on Ben. The US isn’t responsible for this at all. Blame is solely on the Iranians who fired the missile. Liberals have been showing their true colors by siding with terrorists instead of their own country.

    Are you forgetting that the Iranians attacked our embassy last week? Or that they killed an American translator working for the military a few weeks before that? Or the countless other American (and Iranian) deaths Soleimani was responsible for?

  7. Seriously you are placing blame on the USA? Whoops we shot down a scheduled commercial flight but it’s ok because the US media says it not entirely our fault.

    Are there any travel blogs left that cover travel and don’t make everything political? We get it, the county is more divided than normal so let’s ruin the escape of travel and add to the decisiveness.

  8. ” I think it’s also pretty obvious that if the US hadn’t escalated the situation, this wouldn’t have happened.” we killed a terrorist, they fired missiles at our base and we didn’t respond. Before that they attacked our embassy, have attacked civilian ships and killed thousands of civilians both in their own country and others via their proxies.
    Taking out a terrorist isn’t escalating, BTW Obama fired some 2800 drone missles at terrorists as well but guess thats different. If anything over the past year we’ve been too docile in allowing Iran to continue to escalate its bad behavior.
    Note that when Iran fired at our base we DIDNT respond or escalate…then after they fired missiles at us and we did nothing they shot down this plane. I also don’t buy the accident line, a 737 climbing on a normal departure from their international airport – there’s no way you can mistake that as a hostile jet. How did it magic itself into that airspace? Did they think we sent a B52 to their airport to refuel before starting out attack? They shot it down because they knew that idiots in the US media would do their bidding and blame Trump not them, this was no accident it was a calculated response.

  9. I agree with you Ripty, It also sounds like one of those non-apology, apologies, ” I’m sorry but this wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t made me so angry’ things. Although difficult, In my opinion one shouldn’t even bother with an apology unless you can take complete responsibility for your own actions, it really doesn’t make either party feel better and may even make it worse.

  10. Of course America is at some fault here — they’re the ones that escalated the situation, not Iran. But some Americans think that America can’t be faulted for anything :rolleyes:

    IR 655 anyone?

  11. Also, they knew they shot this down on Wednesday and lied for days. There’s no chance they just noticed “oh hey look we seem to be missing a couple SAMs…huh wonder if that’s connected to the plane that crashed”. They only admitted it because they got caught. Everyone giving them credit for owning up to this are fools playing into their propaganda, they lied until they realized there was enough evidence about what they did and no one would believe them. Remember just yesterday they were demanding western nations provide the proof they fired the missiles…which again they knew they fired.

  12. Peter said it best. There’s no reason trying to be balanced here. What is wrong with you Lucky? What is wrong with taking care of the head of what essentially is a terrorist group in the Middle East? This maybe an unintentional shot down, but a fully intentional lie that wouldn’t have been admitted to had it not for the emerging and overwhelming evidence over the past few days.

  13. Are you even halfway serious?

    So Iran’s guy orchestrates the murder of hundreds of Americans. He orders the imprisonment of and execution of thousands of Iranians. He then lines up an attack on the US Embassy. He’s preparing additional attacks. We dispatch him with a drone.

    Iran responds with dozens of missiles. We stand down. Iran’s incompetence leads to their shooting down a passenger plane.

    Yeah. That’s our fault.

  14. @keitherson – So you think the US killed an Iranian official just because we were bored and had nothing better to do? Like he didn’t do anything to cause the US to kill him? *rolls eyes*

  15. “Stupid Iranians! Can’t they tell it’s a passenger plane? ”

    In 1988, Iran Flight 655 was shot down by a US missile aimed by US soldiers thinking it was an Iranian F-14 Tomcat. All 290 passengers were killed. I don’t think there was a US apology, although I’ll stand corrected if there was.

  16. Bunch of brain washed Americans. You are the ones who have attacked so many countries, killed so many people and act like the police of the world, meddle in everything and took over the Middle East, USA is the real threat to the world peace. Open your mind and eyes to this horrible and sad truth.

  17. Lucky, you are an unspeakable disgrace! What about the victims and the families of the thousands of US citizens that were killed and/or blown up by this terrorist thug! You are nothing more than an apologist! If you have any guts at all, you will respond to each of the comments left on this post.

  18. A very good summary about a tragic and avoidable incident. Watching from the outside it’s obvious to many people that there’s a undeniable causal link which started in the Whitehouse and ended in this catastrophe that took 67 innocent Canadian lives, with another 100+ lost from other countries

  19. @Art said “Liberals have been showing their true colors by siding with terrorists instead of their own country.”

    Clearly they’re taking their cues from President Trump who has had no issue with siding with Putin against our own intelligence services and who had had no issue with claiming to “love” a murderous dictator like Kim Jong-un who has (on multiple occasions) threatened “shocking actual action” against America.

    You may wish to look a bit closer to home if you’re genuinely looking for people showing their true unpalatable colors.

  20. Wow. Lots of one sided views in these comments. This post states Ben doesn’t believe the US is at fault, he merely points out the cause and effect likelihood. Action A, however necessary and/or warranted, precipitates Action B.

  21. @Keith
    US settled and paid over $130MM in 1996 for IR655 and expressed deep regret. Perhaps not a full blown apology, but $130MM worth of deep regret and loss of credibility. See…in a civilized and democratic gov’t, warts are revealed eventually. You think that Iran will express any regret whatsoever?

  22. He is not blaming US, he is saying “Human error AT TIME OF CRISIS caused by US adventurism” led to this disaster. By CRISIS he means killing of general Soleimani and Iran’s actions for revenge which is kind of true if one claims US had some responsibility in starting it.
    But Iran accepted responsibility for shutdown of the plane which is courageous considering how shitty politics is in general, and Iran’s political situation.
    In situations like this there are multiple organizations and people who could be blamed including Iran’s supreme leader who is the top chief of IRGC as well as Trump for triggering a crisis.

  23. All of a sudden, so many of you care about the US embassy in Baghdad. An assault where there were no deaths or even serious injuries? Please pipe down with your faux outrage.

  24. It’s not likely to have happened if the US had not escalated the situation. The US or rather trump , the dotard in chief , has some indirect liability

  25. @Keith Yes, the US did shoot down an Iranian Airlines flight in 1988 but almost everyone, including Americans agreed the guy in charge was extremely unwarranted and stupid in doing it. He was reprimanded and this was 80’s technology in contrast to the technology now.
    Not only that but this flight originated from Tehran airport and crashed nearby meaning that they should have known that this was a commercial flight as how would a plane magically appear out of knowhere, flying in the opposite direction of Tehran, the place which would be the target of military planes, and this also doesn’t take into account of other factors such as the plane climbing from 8,000 feet which the Iranians know because we have radar information of the flight which everyone can access.

  26. OMG The Points Guy and Miles to Memories never manage to piss off this many people…I’m tired of watching you incite political war on your blog. I so much enjoy most of your writing, but it’s the 10% that is just maddening. Stop looking for trouble. -1 subscriber as of tonight.

  27. @Lucky, How much blame did you put on the Obama administration for the MH17 crash over eastern Ukraine? If the Obama administration and the Western European countries hadn’t interfered* in the Ukrainian affairs in 2013-14, Ukraine wouldn’t have lost control of Crimea and parts of eastern Ukraine. There wouldn’t have been any “rebels” in eastern Ukraine supported by Russia, they wouldn’t have any surface-to-air missiles to accidently shoot at the Malaysian jet.

    *Much more than any country (including RUSSIA!) interfered in the US election in 2016.

  28. Well, Not the first time. US navy Shot down Iran Air IR655 in 1988 and the captain received a medal back home. Bloody world.

  29. Wow,

    Americans really ARE brainwashed hawks arent they? Had Iranians taken out any General having a coffee at Fort Bragg what would the US response be? Theyd have flattened or even nuked Tehran. Americans have all bought into the rightiousness BS that the US is beyond reproach.

  30. But very well said. Irans fault. They copped to it in pretty good time. Someones definately gonna be in the dog house for that!

    Mr Trumpy wont back down and i hope hes so stupid he doesnt know what Pelosi is waiting for….:)

  31. I told you all from the beginning. I also mentioned state sponsored propaganda and specifically mentioned BBC Persia. During these days when the state was denying shooting down the plane, BBC Persia published an article in which they were talking about the Boeing 737 Max suisideal tendency. And relating that to the Ukrainian plane crash. Goes to show you how far these people are willing to go in order to speed their version of events. For those who wonder why there were so many people attending the terrorist general, the above is your answer.

    @Kieth … islamic republic brother, not Iran. Before the 1979 disaster of a revolution Iranian airline industry was one of the worlds safest (second only to Qantas mainly due to fewer flying hours) and most well organised. IranAir was what Emirates is today. What the Islamic Republic did to Iranair and the iranian aviation industry in general is a mini version of what they did to the entire country.

  32. Ukraine is partly to blame here. If it was not a country, then the flight would not have existed and thus could not have been shot down.

    That’s similar logic to why the US is at fault in this.

  33. The only real winner here is Boeing. They must be so relieved this isn’t another one of their ##$#@.

  34. “give Iran credit for admitting this”

    Really ???? After several days of denial until the intelligence community caught them with their pants down?

    They admitted after being caught with the smoking gun.
    They could have admitted within hours. You fire some missiles and a civilian aircraft blew up nearby how hard to connect it?

    Captain William C. Rogers III even got a medal for being the CO during the tour that involved the shootdown.

    Karma for Ukraine and MH17?

  35. “What the Islamic Republic did to Iranair and the iranian aviation industry in general is a mini version of what they did to the entire country.”

    Probably due more to the sanctions than for anything else.

  36. Lucky, you might seriously consider staying away from geopolitics, to the extent that such go beyond aviation issues. You clearly hit a raw nerve among the readership here by suggesting that the US bears any responsibility for this. While it is true that in war, innocents get killed due to hair-trigger decisions (see, 1988: US Navy shoots down an Iranian airliner over Persian Gulf killing 290 innocents), in this case all the blame fairly belongs on Iran.

    You probably should have confined your commentary on how this relieves Boeing of more bad news and the effect on flight routing over Iran.

  37. I like your blog, but you’re way out over your skis here mate. Stay in the shallow end of the pool where you belong………and stick to airline reviews. Cheers.

  38. It is interesting to watch how Americans are in denial about their own incompetent interference with international affairs. No, Americans, you can’t just designate other nations’ high-rank officials and military personal as terrorists and then kill them as an excuse. This is a war crime and USA behaves like they are above international law. Such sad accedents are a mere concequence of US bullying towards smaller nations!

  39. @Aaron

    No. From the set go these people were not fit to lead a country at all. Allow me to give you an example: the founder of the Islamic Republic once famously claimed “Economics if a field for donkeys”.

    Their approach to governing began with mass killing/ cleansing of competent people in every aspect of the Iranian society. First victims were military personal who would have been very useful in the Iran-Iraq war. Anyway if Im not mistaken a couple of new planes that had been ordered by the Kings regime was delivered to Iran after the revolution. But everything changed soon after. The sanctions began when a group of revolutionaries decided to climb the US embassy wall and take 52 american diplomats hostage for 444 days. If you can figure out who ordered that and why than you will understand why the revolution happened in the first place.

    Regarding the revolutionary idiots who sieged the embassy and who keep claiming that everything bad in Iran is the fault of the sanctions: they pose as reformist-well educated-western friendly-moderate-intellectualls these days in western media. See the last Christian Amanpour interview with a lady called Ebtekar. She was the spoke person of that group of hostage takers back in 1979, is a government minister today, chanted “death to america” just a couple of days ago in the terrorists funeral and yet regularly visits the US because her son lives there!!! Unfortunately these are the people that the overwhelming majority of western media keep talking to. Really really sad.

  40. The MAGAs trolling this topic here are willfully blind — and pathetic. When did Iran last shoot down an airliner? Never before! Is it not significant that this horrible accident took place while the country was on hair trigger alert against the distinct possibility of more offensive action by the mercurial orange-haired a*hole? So America is just as responsible for this tragedy as the nervous fellow who pulled the trigger. And don’t forget Kushner, Friedman, and criminal Bibi who are egging him on. That may not sit right with MAGAs but is the conclusion people around the world have come to. And where’s the contrition about the Iran Air flight shot down in 1988? MAGAs, did you even know about that? Typically, not. The entire sick American system is geared to making profits for the plutocrats who have stakes in the US military-industrial complex. Unbelievably, these working class MAGAs who get absolutely nothing out of this immoral arrangement are defending the travesty! Thank heavens Iran was moderate and generous in the proportion of its immediate response. A wise leadership unlike the nutbar in the White House. America’s thug leaders are the world’s premier terrorists today. They may yet succeed in incinerating the world.

  41. Lucky, Sorry but I totally disagreed with you on this: “ On the one hand, on some level I have to give Iran credit for admitting this, as there are plenty of governments that would have tried to cover something like this up, even if there was evidence making it pretty clear what happened.”

    Of course, they intentionally shot down the plane and admitted so that everyone will lay blame on US. They should not be credited here for their ugly action. They admitted in order to show US that they will continue to do such shameless acts to innocent people.

  42. Ben, you knew you were going to get a big response to this post …….. Personally I’m looking forward to more reviews of which Krug Vintage is better in F from you and I’ll get the political commentary elsewhere

  43. Well…lots of hyper-oestrogenated lactating males posting today. Read his post *carefully* and take a Xanax. How some of you function without melting fine daily is a mystery…

  44. I feel like a lot of people missed the point of this article, I don’t think Lucky was blaming the US? Just that the killing of the general was one of the steps on the way to escalating it (but Lucky did not saying the killing was unreasonable), and then Iran hitting US airbases escalated to several notches above that.

    The US never apologised or admitted fault for the USS Vincennes incident, although they did pay a large amount to the victims.

    International politics is such a horrible mess to navigate

  45. They had just launched 15 missiles at the world’s largest military hours earlier and were understandably expecting to catch a big fat bowl of obliteration.

  46. Lucky needs to stay out of politics.
    But it’s tough when you travel with a handful of different passports.

  47. Lucky, write whatever you want. It’s your blog.
    If people get upset about this, they are either incapable of reading or can’t expand their minds to critically analyse the actions of all relevant parties rather than just accepting what is fed to them by their chosen source.

  48. I think anyone trying to talk anything good about USA or other country international affairs is just extremely naive. Let’s put along the Middle East context.
    I will not specify which is the one to blame first / most, what is clear is that Trump and his Tweetosterone ::) doesn’t care about the implications of what he does. Don’t forget its a president that wrote many tweets about Greta Thurnberg, his other 14 year old enemy.

  49. Ben, don’t listen to these triggered maga snowflakes who can’t handle anyone not 100% towing their maga fantasies. Iran did this and is 100% at fault. However, their military obviously would have been on heightened alert with Donnie Bone Spurs bloviating about attacking Iranian cultural sites.

    The US awarded a medal to the guy who shot down IR655. We took no judicial action taken against anyone responsible for the murder of 290 people.

    Keep up the good work, Ben.

  50. I think what you wrote, Ben, was a very balanced account of the facts.

    The outraged responses from your mostly American followers confirm what those of us outside the United States have long understood; Americans will always see themselves as the good guys, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

  51. Wow, there are some delusional people on this forum thinking that the US are completely blameless for this…

  52. Maybe the Iranian commander shouldn’t have attacked the Baghdad embassy and be planning more attacks on U.S. installations. I agree the U.S. should leave the Middle East completely and focus on securing its own borders and that of Europe, and deporting all non western illegals. But look at how crazy liberals, neo cons, Democrats and Republicans got when President Trump pulled troops out of Syria. While the U.S. does remain in the region it does have to protect its personnel. I understand if Iraqis don’t want U.S. troops in Iraq but the Iranians should stick to Iran and not disrupt peace.

  53. All of you red, white, and blue loyalists that are waving your flag on here walk around with blinders. Take a good hard look at the history of the US in multiple countries and tell me that your war loving country doesn’t deserve the hits it gets. Get off your right wing arses and at least admit your country is no better than other terrorists. Or are you still looking for the WMDs that Cheney and Bush convinced your studio selfs existed. Maybe they are hidden in the Hillary Clinton server that the moron in chief convinced you are in Ukraine. STFU and know the US is no hero.

  54. Of course, the Iranians will continue to spin this even while they take a child’s approach to taking blame. They are still lying about it as they did not fire after the plane had turned. Also, it appears that the missile was launched from a missile intercept battery so their defenses were so bad that they mistook an airplane for an incoming missile.
    Lastly, they bulldozed and cleared the crash area so they have left nothing for independent investigators to check. My guess is the reason they actually even took any blame at this point was to limit the scope of any investigation since leaving it up in the air as a potential technical problem would have made it harder for them to deny entry to foreign investigators like from Canada, the NTSB (even though they gave on that and the Boeing tech).
    Still such a sad attack that has upended so many families’ lives and was completely senseless.

  55. Iran did not admit to downing the plane so that they could blame the USA, they admitted to downing the plane because the world’s airlines were effectively boycotting their airspace (revenue) and airlines were cancelling flights into and out of Iran (potential airline embargo).

    Airline schedules will now be restored, the Iranians will apologise to the families with some money and this will all be forgotten in a months time. The oil will continue to flow with more US Dollars being transferred into Swiss bank accounts faster than you can imagine (regardless of US sanctions).

    Iran’s reputation was already crap so nothing lost here. It will at least bring some sort of closure to families of passengers albeit not exactly a heartfelt apology.

  56. Taking in to account that you are a globetrotter ben, you are remarkably ignorant on world affairs and communicating them. Says a North European.

    The US is to blame for a lot of things, as is my country or any country for that matter.

    The US is not to blame for this.
    Iranian incompetence are.
    And the course and effect argument is utterly nonsense, because you can justify any action from the beginning of time with that. Just look at this thread where people are beginning to use historian accounts as a justification for actions as of present day.

    And as a note.
    I think travel for a lot of us is a safe heaven from politics and division in our societys. So if I could come with a humble suggestion, please do what you are very good at, namely travel news.

    I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have an opinion, please do. But save it for forums that is designated for it. In my opinion a travel block is not.

    Keep up the good work, I’ll stick around.

  57. President Trump was patient as Iran attacked Saudi oil fields, bombed ships in the Straits of Hormuz, and shot down a US drone. Keep in mind the Iranian escalation came because sanctions put in place were effective. Once the Iranians escalated to the point that they attacked our embassy, Trump responded appropriately. President Trump has now re established a deterrent. The Iranians, according to the UK Daily Mail, warned everyone of the pending attack and sent some missiles that were never intended to kill anyone. This was purely a face-saving measure. And they have now stood down.
    This is a huge indictment on Obama’s multiple policy failures and a huge win for the Trump administration. It’s an absolute tragedy that this plane was shot down because the Iranians couldn’t have enough forethought to stop air traffic while they errantly fired missiles.

  58. Absolutely unacceptable regardless of the tensions. And the foreign minister has the nerve to put a broken heart emoji in the tweet. Kind of insensitive if you ask me.

  59. I hate seeing a great blog turn political. We’re here to learn about travel and share our experiences, not discuss politics.

  60. “if you were stuck living in one of the f’d up shithole like Iran, Venezuela, Korea, or Canada”

    And with that comment, you more or less invalidated any reason for us to take you seriously…

  61. Where is @Julia now? When you reported the case couple days ago she said that was the US that fired the missile. Where is she now??? Only a stupid army would make this mistake. Not the US Army.

  62. If nothing else, these posts demonstrate that Lucky’s blog is widely followed outside of the U.S. (for a variety of reasons, I imagine).

  63. Lucky I’m so sorry that a balanced article such as this is getting so many hateful comments. I’d think that shooting down a plane is noteworthy and incredible tragedy. The fact that (evil) Iran confessed to the downing is in itself astonishing. A lot of people and regimes don’t do that even when evidence is clear. And your furious readers are forgetting that there are always two sides to any story. The power of US has been declining and recent political shifts in the US are only exacerbating that. Perhaps the Middle East wants less adult supervision – if only the west could do without their oil.

  64. @Andry

    Nope. The revolution (and the sanctions that followed) were due to the toppling of a autocratic dictator installed by the US and the UK, after they in turn toppled the democratically elected prime minister in the 1950s. Basically, ok for the US to topple a government, but not ok for others to do the same to the government they themselves installed. Who needs democracy?

    “If you can figure out who ordered that and why than you will understand why the revolution happened in the first place.”

    Again, see above as to why the revolution happened in the first place. Iran prior to that may have booze and women in mini-skirts, but it was an extremely corrupt country run by a man who tolerated zero political criticism or opposition. And then the US had their friend (at the time) Saddam Hussein take on Iran to neutralize it.

    Who knows what path Iran would have taken had the US and the UK not toppled the Mohammad Mosaddegh regime in 1953 and installed the Pahlavis in his place. I guess we will never know.

  65. @Santastico

    She said it was not impossible for the US to have been involved, not that the US had actually done it.

  66. Lucky: you should be ashamed for writing this story. Seriously, there are veterans and people that serve this country that read your blog. You should apologize to all of them. The US military is here to protect us American citizens. That terrorist had killed hundreds of Americans and deserved to be eliminated a long time ago but no US president had the balls to do it. He was planning to kill many more Americans and our intelligence detected that and the president said enough. The murderer was eliminated by a very precise state of the art military drone and had no casualties other than the ones protecting the murderer. That did not happen in Iran. So, where the US escalated anything? Iran has a rudimentary army and they are incompetent. They immediately said the cause of the crash was mechanical failure when they already knew they shot the plane. I will pause read your blog for a while hoping you have time to rethink what you wrote. I hate you taking the political route here. You had a great blog but probably watched too much CNN.

  67. Wow, folks. To say it with Taylor Swift, you need to calm down. Lucky has an opinion – why not just read it, think about it and expand your own horizons; You don’t have to agree and you certainly don’t have to give up your own opinion. but does it hurt to listen to what other people think? If you only want to get your opinion confirmed, yes, then tune in to network or blog of your choice … but understand that YOU are contributing to divisiveness in this country.

    The only ones who are way out of line here are the people who do all the name calling – “you are an idiot”, “assbag”, etc… are you serious?! Why all the hostility just because someone shares thoughts that happen not to align with yours?

  68. All the arm chair experts/patriots should just calm down. Nobody argues that Suleimani was an angel or that he didn’t deserve to be killed. This doesn’t change the fact that the US administration didn’t give much thought to or miscalculated the consequences of his killing. Just because we could do it doesn’t mean it was a smart thing to do.

  69. Why would they not have lied for days until cornered into the unescapable? They’ve been lying nonstop for decades.

    One positive news out of the whole tragedy, beside exposing to the world Iran’s ineptitude, is that the Iranian sky belongs to the US Military for the several coming days. A squadron of F16s could probably fly there in parade order and not be shot at, for fear of more mistakes and exposure. Hopefully an opportunity seized in high places.

  70. Lucky was spot on and correctly nuanced.

    To those like Santastico, Pierre, and others who see this as completely one sided, please open a history book. American foreign policy, from the removal of a democratically elected government in Iran and pouring a despot like the Shah in place directly led to the hostage crisis. The current administrations bluster, breaking of deals, and borderline war crime for killing a general in a third country, Might just have some effect as well.

    I understand generally current history taught in American schools is terrible (as it is in pretty much every county), but opening up a book and reading a little (instead of getting your info from the places like fox news) might actually lead someone to mistake you for an intellectual.

  71. Wow… lots of.comments from the Fox”Noise” crew. I think an objective read of the article see it’s a balanced one.

  72. You give Iran credit for that?? They tried at the best of their ability to cover it up, but only once they saw it was impossible, they admitted…

    “On the one hand, on some level I have to give Iran credit for admitting this, as there are plenty of governments that would have tried to cover something like this up, even if there was evidence making it pretty clear what happened.”

  73. @Ray: you should have brought that “angel” that the US military killed to your home and protect him. He was such a nice guy.

  74. I don’t think Iran deserves any credit for “owning up” to this. Just one hour before Iran finally admitted the obvious, its state tv released an article entitled “West blaming Iran for plane crash without shred of evidence,” and another article entitled “Iran rejects claim Ukrainian passenger jet brought down by missiles.” At least their foreign minister deleted his earlier tweet that said the West was employing “psychological warfare” in suggesting Iran shot down the plane.

  75. All these comments here perfectly match what I think of Americans these days.

    A bunch of brainwashed, uneducated human beings on an imperialistic trip to take over the whole world.

    Iran admitted to wrongdoing within 3 days of the crash. Remind me, how long did it take for the US to apologize for IR655? They to this date never admitted legal liability nor issued a formal apology! 32 years after the A300 was shot down! And you seriously blame Iran for taking 3 days to admit they did it? Instead the Americans awarded a duty medal to the Captain….

    Open your eyes! Iran is so much more than their leadership. Iran is a super beautiful country with the nicest people ever. But you only ever believe what you see on TV.

    Hopefully one day you will all wake up and stop destroying the world with your reckless behavior.
    In civilized countries Trump would have been prosecuted for what he did in Baghdad on the 3rd.

  76. @Santastico, there are no “angels” in global geo-politics. We’re not living in 1950’s spaghetti western, with white hats and black hats – this is the real world. Until you understand that, is difficult to debate you.

    I think the guy you evidently voted for was the one who acknowledged “America did some bad things” in an interview with Bill O’Reilly in 2017.

    Again being nuanced is not a bad thing – it’s the grown up way to approach the world.


    This is an individuals travel blog, he can say what he wants.

    Also none of you have the power to change any of the events occurring so like Ricky Gervais said “SHUT THE F UP thank your god and your agent your a live and keep it pushing NONE OF YOU HAVE THE POSITION OR INTELLIGENCE to have an opinion on this matter”

    How bout you go talk to some politicians abut your stupid little opinions. Ben can say whatever he wants, trump has, but Ben has His own opinion and everyone jumps off a cliff.

    I’m sorry your feelings got so hurt you had to leave political comments on a random persons blog who has no influence in geopolitics just to make yourself feel morally superior by thinking you bested someone else. Again y’all are pitiful lol.

    If words had repercussions trump wouldn’t be president so everyone stfu and let Ben say what he is entitled to say. His own opinion.

  78. Easy on Lucky, he has every right to show both sides of the coin, as there always is with anything. Soleimani was a brutal general responsible for hundreds of American deaths in Iraq and hundreds of thousands of deaths in Syria, and he will not be missed by anyone who sympathizes with those deaths. But Trump risked a war in the Middle East by ordering his death, and set in motion the chain of events which led to the shooting down of the UIA plane by a very jittery Iran. Lucky makes a very good point by pointing that out, without blaming the US directly for the downed plane.

  79. @Ray:

    Having lived in France at the time and reporting only on widely known and acknowledged facts back then, let me tell you that your dictatorial and intolerant Shah regime was anything but that extreme, given what the but at the same time very naive, which caused its own demise:

    In 1977, the French authorities under French President Giscard d’ Estaing let the Iranian authorities know that they were aware of Israeli openings to take Khomeini down, that they were open to let it happen but that they wanted Iran’s position. The Shah declined. The rest is (unfortunate) History.

    As to Lucky’s posts, force is to recognize that as soon as he touches anything political, at which he sucks, the reactions are exactly as divided as American Society is now, why should it not be so?

    Therefore, a piece of advice for Lucky: PLEAAASE… stick to airlines, airports, aircraft and, if you must, credit cards.

  80. To those of you that are upset at Lucky for discussing a politically charged topic, please keep in mind that you can avoid being angry altogether by not reading such an article/blog in the first place. He does a great job of not bringing in politics in his trip reviews of planes and hotels, so just stick with those if you are offended about his political discourse. And this article/blog about the downed plane was obviously going to involve such political discourse.

  81. “We shouldn’t order the strike because Iran may be too incompetent to tell the difference between civilian and military aircraft and may shoot down a 737” is a foreign policy for losers.

    Also, there is absolutely no moral equivalence between the US and Iran. None. Zilch. Nada. Zero. Those of you who claim to be intellectually superior but also say we are as bad as them are idiots.

  82. This is in the same category as the US military killing a Reuters news photographer in Iraq because they mistook his camera for a weapon. It’s all over youtube, go find the footage if you want. The fog of war is real, and when you have a couple of seconds to make a decision on whether someone or something is a threat to you or not – knowing that it you choose the wrong option you are likely dead – sometimes you make the wrong choice.

    TL;DR: War sucks.

  83. “Therefore, a piece of advice for Lucky: PLEAAASE… stick to airlines, airports, aircraft and, if you must, credit cards.”

    Except…nobody is being forced to read this article. So why does it trigger you so much that he posted it?

  84. I was wondering if Iran could have had better recognition equipment if it were not for the US embargo the country has been in for the past several * decades * !

    Guess not : despite all their tech, the US gunned downed IR655.
    Some even said at the time of TW800 it had been shot by a US missile test nearby.
    Russian tech not better either : other then KE007 and MH017, in 1986 a lone Cessna managed to fly all its way into Soviet Russia and land like a bird on Red Square. The Defense minister was fired ASAP.

    Just to say shit happens near war zones, don’t take any flights.
    Things could be much worse : suppose Iran had a mighty navy of its own and cruised for decades in the international waters just off the eastern corridor…

  85. I was thinking about that scene in Marriage Story where Adam Driver’s character explains why he cheated. Disconnected from context, that act is his fault. But, as he explains, there is a lot more to the story.

    When a conflict has been simmering for 40 years, it’s hard to say one side, and one side only, is to blame for anything.

    A couple of things that came to mind when reading this thread:
    1) The number of people who rail against Iranian leadership for lying straight up, then admitting what facts clearly showed. Who else has a political leader who routinely does this?
    2) Soleimani was not a “good” guy. He is responsible for the deaths of many, many people (including former classmates of mine from graduate school). He was also a general in a sovereign country’s military. If you are going to argue that all is well to kill generals in other countries’ military, we expose US military leaders to the same rationale. The point is that in almost any conception of Just War Theory, reciprocity is a standard concept. If you do something, in order to justify that thing as permissible, you must allow that the other side can do likewise.

    The common thread in the two points is the need for intellectual consistency.

  86. Yep the comments are a total clown show. It’s your blog and you should write what you want. Had the Iranian general not been assassinated this wouldn’t have happened. That is irrefutable. Now the Iranians did something stupid and will need to pay for it but it still is in response to what the US did. I’m glad you wrote about it and did not back down to the hordes of hateful opinions here.

  87. @ Indopithecus: Get off the drugs, mate. Irrational hatred is uncalled for.

    @everyone: This comment section displays the problem in America today- no common sense and extreme partisanship. Americans need to start using their brains and not blindly parroting the line of their preferred political party. Americans need to stop personal attacks on others just because their viewpoint is different. Americans need to stop grouping people together and assuming everyone of one political persuasion is exactly the same.
    People wonder why I moved abroad……. The USA is just toxic.

  88. (praying that all the MAGA trolls threatening to never come back to OMAAT now, actually keep their promises…unlike the temporary occupant of the WH they all bow down to)

  89. @Jesse. “Irrational hatred”? Just read your history, pal, and use common sense; don’t depend on Fox headlines! Check out the ‘Counterpunch’ website. Have a good day.

  90. It’s your blog Lucky, say what you want…but this is a terrible take and I think the comments reflect that. I’ll keep coming back for the travel content and reviews but like many people have echoed above, it might be best to keep politics off the blog as much as possible. Not just because it triggers people on both sides, but because this blog is simply a better place without it.

  91. Lucky,
    You have an interesting letter that you send out; and I don’t want to get personal about this; but are you crazy?
    For forty years, Iran has wanted to kill Americans indiscriminately. For that matter, include the Jews in Israel as well. And for that matter include the recent butchering of over 1,500 of their own citizens that were peacefully protesting their own government. I’m sorry Lucky, the United States is not responsible for the actions of 176 souls losing their lives. On second thought, I take back the part where I apologize.
    And don’t tell me I’m hateful. When you resort to that, you admit that you cannot intelligently continue this conversation, instead you have to resort to name calling.
    Lucky, you’re the one that needs to apologize.

  92. Political views aside, I’m just astonished at the incredible lack of reading comprehension here. Understandable for international readers who a non-native English speakers, but clearly many of the American readers just skipped over entire sentences in Luckys post.

  93. Wow Benjamin, I knew you were a liberal but didn’t take you for an ignorant, siding with terrorists person. What’s wrong with you??

    The US, instructed by President Trump, took a precision strike against a terrorist in Baghdad, Iraq.

    Iran was the careless one that began firing missiles left and right all over the place and shot an innocent airplane. THEIR fault. THEIR mistake.

    Im dumbfounded that you blame the USA for this. Wow.

    I realize you’re a liberal and try not to offend anyone in your writing and try to remain balanced and all, but if you’re gonna talk about sensitive war, political stuff or serious topics on your blog, at least be a MAN, pick a side and stand by what you say, don’t be a snowflake.

  94. @UA-NYC theyre gonna keep their promises as much as the liberal snowflakes kept theirs of “moving to Canada” after President Trump got elected lol.

    not gonna happen.

  95. The only reason this topic should be discussed on this site is because of the aviation safety issue. Turning every site into a political discussion forum in order to gain page views and revenue is disgusting. There are a lot of people that simply want to escape from endless politics.

    The simple cause of the accident is that UIA and the Ukrainian government allowed a commercial aircraft to operate in a war zone. TV coverage around the world showed the Iranian missile attacks on Iraq just hours before the accident. No matter how accidental the shoot down was, mixing military activities with commercial aviation is highly risky, has ended badly before, and will continue to end badly as long as the two are allowed to coexist anywhere close to each other in space or time.
    Justifying whatever happened because of anything else that has happened is childish and immature. Part of being an adult is taking responsibility for one’s own actions and choosing to not act when doing so has the potential to do harm to others.
    Airlines that continue to operate in/over Iran or any other countries that do not fully control their military actions alongside commercial aviation are taking risks.

  96. Yes, I agree with Lucky — a cause-effect relationship here. It seems rather obvious to me; I’m surprised how much jingoism has clouded some people’s views.

  97. +1 @Santastico !!

    Well said. Ben, stay off fake news CNN (Clinton News Network).

    You should have more respect for the flag, the country that took your immigrant parents in, and for the veterans that put their lives on the line so that you can have the freedom of typing away on your Macbook Pro about expensive flights & hotels all day long.

    Also please fix your email newsletter damnit.

  98. Lucky wrote a very balanced article, so no need to attack him. Nobody is implying that it was the U.S. fault. However, had the Soleimani not been killed, I am nearly sure the doomed Ukrainian Airlines flight would have reached Kyev ok.

    Read some historical facts, and you will find out that the U.S. has been involved in so many conflicts with its own political agenda nearly always covered under humanitarian pretexts.

    Hardliners – are you aware that the U.S. with British staged a coup against democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran Mohammad Mossadegh? Do you know that Iran was quite friendly toward the U.S. until then?

    After the coup, Iran turned against the U.S. and eventually became what it is now – dictatorship under religious disguise. Sorry to tell you, but the U.S. president is no better with the most corrupt administration in the modern times. And don’t you find it strange that the strike against Soleimani happened just before the impeachment trial? Even conservative-leaning Wall Street Journal is reporting dubious reasons for the drone attack against the general.

    Yes, Soleimani’s orders killed lots of people, just like Cheney-Bush, drone-Obama, and ego-Trump did the same. The U.S. is not innocent like some of you are trying to portray with one of your hands holding a bible and another – AR-15.

    Politics is dirty and kills lots of innocent people. And the U.S unfortunately is a big war machine that contributes to this problem.

    Happy 2020. Cheers.

  99. @Indopithecus: I don’t like FOX News…or any mainstream American media, to be honest. You have a good day as well.

  100. Oh, and some of us forgot about the USS Vincennes and Iran Airlines Flight 655 in 1988. 290 innocent people dead and years and years of investigations.

    Hope everyone has a nice day.

  101. Glad Iran admitted fault. I agree, they wouldn’t be firing missiles if it weren’t for the orange guy. I hold Donald J Trump 100% responsible for all deaths on that flight, as well as many many other reprehensible acts, such his squeezing of stranger’s vaginas

  102. Can we just blame those idiots Orville and Wilbur. If those dumbasses hadn’t invented the stupid airplane none of this would have happened!

  103. All of you who say that Iran are to blame and that they are incompetent: are you aware of Iran Air Flight 655 that was shot down by USA F14 in 1988. It was an Airbus 300. USA newer acknowledged responsability but paid 218.000usd as compensation to every passenger. There were 274 persons onboard the flight.
    So USA has done the same as Iran!
    Thank you to OMAAT for being unjudgeful and seeing it for what it is. Human error under stress for being at war with USA.

  104. Ben, I’m a very long-time reader from your Flyertalk days, and this is one of the first times I’ve left a comment on your blog.

    I applaud you for writing with a balanced style on a charged topic — one that implicitly touches on US politics, but nonetheless a topic that falls squarely into your blog’s scope of content.

    The profit motive might call for biting your tongue on any implicit criticism of US policy, given that presumably a sizeable part of your readership might have strong views in support of the US administration.

    But you also honor your journalistic instincts, which are to put facts and balance ahead of business interests. That’s rare to see in blogging, which in my opinion is mostly purely for-profit and lacking in journalistic values.

    With this post and its prioritization of journalistic ethics over business profit, you’ve won even greater respect from me.

  105. Ben: “The US government shouldn’t be blamed directly or indirectly for the accident.”

    Right wing nut jobs: Why is you blamin’ Murica?

    And where are these outraged clowns when Trump says that there are good people on the Nazi White Power side? I hope that those who say they will no longer read the blog do us all a favor and stick to their word.

  106. Ben,

    I find your article to be very well ballanced as it is written by a person who knows his roots but travelled the whole world, met different people and got to know many cultures, expanded his horizons in every possible sense.

    You have so much integrity and your blog demonstrates that-big respect!

    @Daniel- brilliant, agree with everything you wrote!

    Cheers all!

  107. Really heartened by the comments crying foul on the US “escalating” matters. All I need to say is we escalated nothing but responded to Iranian aggression.

    Disappointed to see you have giveN any degree of sympathy to Iran. You’ve generally been more of a voice of reason with well-thought out arguments even when I disagreed with your final conclusions.

  108. ” That’s not to say that the US is at fault in any way, but I do think there’s a cause and effect relationship here.” – Are you frickin serious? They blew a scheduled civilian airliner out of the sky as it was climbing killing everybody on board and then tried to lie about it and cover it up. When that didn’t work they tried to blame the US for it and YOU are giving credence to that garbage? Stick to writing about travel because it is clear you don’t know anything about foreign affairs. If you had you would know that the strike on the general was hardly what set things in motion. Iran is the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world. That general was responsible for the deaths of several hundred americans and thousands upon thousands of civilians. Iran was attacking oil tankers and even attacked the oil fields of our ally saudi arabia. They took out 50% of saudi oil production (that is 5% of the world supply of oil), the guy was in Iraq to plan attacks that would further destabilize the region and put US personnel further in harms way and the US embassy was attacked in Iraq by a group this guy supported. Not sure how many people had to be killed or how many US interests had to be put at risk before you would think its acceptable for the US to act, but honestly you can debate whether the drone strike was too extreme of a step, but it can’t be seriously suggested that because the US took action they somehow are responsible for what Iran did in their own country. Or do you also think the 2,977 people who died on 9/11 at the hands of terrorist can be blamed on US foreign policy as well?

  109. @Aaron

    Believe me when I say I’ve spent many years pondering on the why’s and the who’s and how’s. The Iranian society simply wasn’t ready for democracy ala Sweden back than. Even at 1979 they weren’t and they proved it when they claimed they had seen the picture of a certain Khomeini in the moon!!!!!

    Before I begin expressing my view I would like to say that the “fight” between the king and Mosadegh and their respective followers is one of the saddest and most depressing chapters that I have come across in our history. They both loved the country, and they could have prevented (maybe, see the end of the post) the disaster if they had found a way to co-operate more.

    Anyway. The so called myth of CIA coup is just that, a myth. Under the consitutional law the king had every right to appoint and dismiss his priministers. In fact he pointed and dismissed over 20 other priminister. Why aren’t those considered coup? Funny thing is, Mosadegh himself never, ever, said anything about a coup. He said that he had received the kings order but was unsure if it was true!!!! What Mosadegh had done was basically to put Iran in a corner internationally when he rushed for the nationalisation of oil without considering alternative offers. You see, he wanted to be seen as the hero. That in turn set Iran bak some more years due to blockades etc. It wasn’t until some years later under the Kings rule that the nationalised oil actually gave benefit to our people. And domestically he created chaos by dismissing the parliament and the push for rushed nationalisation of oil.

    Regarding Mosadegh: he is not the hero that his supporters made him out be nor is he the villain his opponents would make you believe. For me he remains an enigmatic person. I have mixed feelings about him. He was a self proclaimed democrat and the spiritual father of some of the most decent, competent and Iran-loving people we had during those days including Dr. Amini and Dr. Bakhtiyar (the kings last prim minister). Yet he acted against the constitution and with that the very same democratic principle that he was supposed to be the flag bearer of by not abiding by the law on many occasions including dismissing the parliament.

    He would often revert to crying and exaggerating during his speeches. That was his tactics to appeal to the feelings rather than rationale. He also faked hunger strike which was ironically reviled by non other than his wife (he would hide food under his pillow while pretending to be on hunger strike and at the same time receiving foreign dignitaries!!! WTF???). He would also often appeal to the islamic tendencies of the public (we later saw what those tendencies led to). Lets put it this way, he was a handful alright. Ultimately it was out of his party that the so called religious-nationalists emerged. (these are the guys that were in charge of Iran during the transitional stage of the Islamic republic. Bunch of delusional idiots who wanted to mix the koran with modern constitution and governing). It was also his party that betrayed the Kings last prim minister who was one of their own party members!!!!

    Regrading your claim that the King was extremely corrupt and tolerated zero criticism. Would it surprise you than that there were several anti-royalist people working in that same regime? Even some communists? The part about the corruption of the King, ah man, come on, just stop, please. Just Stop. Corruption is everywhere, some places more than others. But neither him nor his regime were even close to what you describe. What you describe is todays Iran, TODAY. And this is one of the reasons that that same King you call dictator and corrupt is commonly called “may he be graced by God” (difficult to translate but loosely). Seriously, that is his nick name these days among large portion of Iranian society.

    Please try and understand where Iran was during those days. Only some 20-30 years before that Iran was made up of a few cities, some villages and in between there was basically no go zones, fit for pirates to do what ever they wanted. The society was largely illiterate, superstitious and religious. Women were the property of men kept at home. The King and his father were literarily dragging Iran into modernity.

    These are some of the things that were accomplished during the king and his fathers rule:

    – First university
    – Rail road
    – Modern army
    – Push to erase illiteracy
    – Free education
    – Introduction of women into working and social life
    – Making factory workers co-shareholders
    – Visa free passport to 74 countries (man I miss that. the freedom to move, not being humiliated with awkward looks and questions and searches, ah damn)

    – One of the strongest currencies on the planet
    – Growth rate of over 10% for over 10 years. Only been surpassed by China if Im not mistaken

    – Voting right for women (I believe 10 years before Switzerland). This is the starting point of Khomeini’s resistance against the King!!!!! (and he is the one Iranians chose instead of the King)

    – Developing the electricity network and expanding it to all corners of the country
    – Paved roads
    – Construction of dams
    – Nuclear powerplant for electricity (Islamic Republic morons have still not been able to finish that project, after 41 years)
    – First female judges
    – Redistributing farming lands among small farmers who before that didn’t have any land at all.

    – Industrialisation, ex: middle easts largest iron factory. Irans car industry was on par with South Korea back than. You should see what it produces today. There is a car called Pride you will see everywhere in Iran. Simply put, its a killing machine. And if it was produced in say Europe or north America the producers would most probably be put in jail.

    – Education of specialised workforce and the technocrats, either domestically or via scholarships and study abroad, all for free.

    – Regarding the work force: you can compare that with say UAE today. Emirates became Emirates thanks to a british genius called Mr. Clark. Iranair was the Emirates of that time under the leadership of one of the Kings most trusted men, a local. Emirates working model? Iran air ordered special 747-SP to do just that some 10 years before Emirates even existed.

    – Investing oil revenue in long term projects and major international companies (over 120 companies i think) instead of just spending it on goods and even worse funding terror organisations. Have you been to Dubai? Did you know that the original plans for such a place was for Kish island in the Persian Gulf? All of that wealth was kept under the Pahlavi foundation which the king left behind when he departed. All of it. Even the royal jewelries or the huge art collection which were bought by the order of the Queen in order to enrich Irans art scene. Ive seen those with my own eyes.

    I could continue but the list is long. Too long.

    I will add one more thing to the list. This was planned but never materialised. the King had held discussions with a key member of the nationalist party, Dr. Amini I believe, in order to gradually reduce his own role and increase the role of parliament. I think we are talking 3-4 years before the revolution. That never happened and it was a mistake. I don’t know why. Some have speculated that the King because of his cancer wanted to finish the modernisation project (his highway to modernity). I personally don’t know. In my eyes that was a mistake.

    Now tell me, is the above what defines someone as corrupt? Not in my book. They were building the country and they were doing it fast, maybe too fast. The King, my King, ultimately fell victim to one of the most brutal propaganda campaigns that the world has ever seen. Probably only what is being done to President Trump is worse.

    Last, i would like to give you some more clues about the revolution. Its up to you if you would like to see my perspective or not.

    – Islamic green belt to contain soviet union
    – Oil crises of 1973
    – Assassination of King Faisal of Saudi Arabia and the oil deal that followed
    – Iran getting close to Egypt and by that pissing of Israel (strategic mistake)

    But probably the two most important reasons are these if I had to choose:

    – Iranians weren’t ready. They had the cash, they were being educated, by they hadn’t matured enough to understand what was being accomplished. (our part of the history, our responsibility)

    – industrialisation of Iran and by that becoming the role model for the rest of the middle east which is … literary a cash machine. What does the middle east produce these days? What are they doing with all that money? (the other part of history)

    @Lucky, I apologise for doing my part in dragging this aviation blog into politics. I enjoy your blog.

  110. It’s a true statement that Iran wouldn’t have been on high alert with their 70’s technology trigger happy fingers firing rockets in response to their guy being killed. Any nation would have made a showing of retaliation to keep up the “tough guy,” look at home. It’s all disgusting. Too many people are taking the conclusions above as sole blame on the USA’s part. It’s not blame necessarily but it’s collateral damage from the never ending world of politics. If you think the killing of the Iranian General is anything but political you are delusional. It’s the exact same timing as when bin Laden was killed and who’s reelection did that help?

  111. Trump is protecting his Citizens and like he said they have the best military and most advanced technology … hence bulls eye on the general … Maybe Iran should not be Utilizing weapons of dark ages especially when they do not know how to use them especially in spite …. did you see the USA shoot 12 Ballistic Rockets in the air yelling like savages ( Live footage) … My deepest sympathy for all involved in however .. Iran is 100 % to blame .. And I’m Canadian .

  112. Meanwhile, there are riots and protests in Iran with people calling for their leaders to resign.

    They don’t care about politics; they do know that civilian aircraft shouldn’t be shot down.

    Not sure why some people can’t leave it at that.

  113. The article is very balanced. Some of the reactions are simplistic as if things are just simply black or white.

  114. The Trump administration escalated the situation by authorizing a US assassinatIon of a very senior Iranian general in a third country, and from there the heightened state of tension and paranoia made people ever more likely to be trigger happy down the chain of command at the very least. And that heightened worry of being attacked has an impact even if/when higher ups in government/military may have wanted a ratcheting down in tension or a return to the status quo (from before) in terms of tension levels. But ultimately the blame for missiles being fired at the UIA plane is on Iranian hands, as Iran too acknowledges in ways.

    In all meaningful ways, the move against Iran via US assassination of a senior Iranian general was more risky than the Obama Administration’s authorization of an assassination of a US citizen. And yet I’m still wondering when the Trump Admin will claim it has the same legal basis to assassinate Soleimani as the Obama Admin used to assassinate a US citizen in another Arab-majority country. Remember Obama’s assassination of that US citizen Anwar A from Virginia? That nutcase was espousing and encouraging illegal violence against the US as an Al-Qaeda backer, but he wasn’t much of a warrior beyond being an arm-chair warrior. Soleimani, an enemy of Al-Qaeda to the core, was a different story as he had been a real warrior in battlefield and occupied areas but also espoused and encouraged violence against American presence in SW Asia at least and had lots more American blood on his hands.

  115. Step,

    The Iranian missile attacks on the UIA plane reveal that the Iranian military capability against relatively low flying aircraft is technologically advanced enough to make human decision-making really problematic at times …. problematic enough to create tragedies like this.

    Unfortunately, this incident likely won’t be the last time we see a passenger flight attacked by military forces in the world; and it likely won’t be the last time we see “friendly fire” killing of passengers by the military forces that are ostensibly there to protect their own citizens. More advanced technology can tragically magnify the negative force of human misjudgment and the consequences arising from misjudgment. When people are afraid or insecure, they tend to do things that they wouldn’t do if they weren’t as afraid and insecure, and it’s not necessarily a recipe for good decision-making.

  116. US would have to share to burden of responsibility if Iran hit the airlines while defending themselves from a counter attack from US, however US did not respond/retaliate to missile attacks in Iraq. So even though there was a crisis, Iran has 100% blame on this. Period. I don’t support Trump nor I see that point of Trump decision to strike Soleimani now, but I don’t understand how people see this as US fault. Strike on Soleimani was in Iraq, not in Iran. In the context of war away from home, US militarism in abroad, and Iran is also abroad through proxies.
    Yes, US also shot down an Iranian civilian aircraft before due to mis- identification, US apologized and paid millions in reparation. Although Iran admitted they unintentionally shot the aircraft, they are trying to shift the blame to US by saying, basically what some people are saying, because US started the crisis, then anything Iran does during the crisis is not their fault, but US. There are many reason to be anti Trump or anti America, but the sentiment seems to be affecting their judgement.
    As for Ben, I think, his thoughts are pretty mild, since he only believes there is a shared responsibility, meanwhile others in the comments blames US, or emphasize US more than Iran, the country that actually shot down the plane.

  117. This was a very balanced article. The US needs to shoulder some of the blame for ratcheting up tensions in the region. There are hundreds like Soleimani.

    He was only taken out now (an election year) to divert attention away from a narcissistic President who is being impeached.

    If you’d like a non-US perspective- google “Michael McCain”. He’s angry, and he’s right.

  118. Yawn grrizzly, the US and Europe weren’t meddling in Ukrainian affairs – so obviously that was also far less than Russia did in the US and Europe.

  119. Iranian previous leadership are also partly to blame here. If they did not develop missile technology, the plane also could not have been shot down.

    That’s similar logic to why the US is at fault in this. Yes, lots of parts led up to the event, but only one party is really responsible.

    But no credit to Iran, they were only really forced to reveal due to overwhelming evidence and being in a weaker position than Russia in equivalent, and when revealed have still lied about the cause in terms of blaming it being near a base (when following path directed by Iranian controllers, and many other flights flew that path same day and earlier), and also made an excuse about a cruise missile – so they routinely assess flights leaving from their capital airport as hostile missiles? The lies don’t add up.

  120. Iran is such backward country !! honestly I do not know why there are still people travel there!! very bad tourism infrastructure and inhospitable people !! I really feel sorry for their neighbours to have to deal with such uncivilized nation !

  121. Ben, you’ve rec’d enough feedback for your comment viz. the USA possibly escalating the situation and that possibly leading to the airliner being shot down. I completely disagree with your statement.

    My question is, you represent this blog, but are you this blog? Expressing a personal opinion on so volatile an issue isn’t appropriate in this forum, wh. decidedly is free of political opinion, and focuses on air travel.

    Whatever your personal feelings about this catastrophe may be, they have no place here.

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