Latest: Two Missiles Hit Ukrainian Plane, Iranian State Media Reporters Quit Over the Lies
This news is already going viral in Iran.
The reports are that the IRGC not only shot one missile at Flight 752, they shot two, making it very clear they intended to take out the plane.
This CCTV footage which is leaked today shows the moment of launch of the first 9M331 surface-to-air missile by a Tor-M1 SAM system of #IRGC Aerospace Force at Flight #PS752 of #Ukraine International Airlines neat #Parand in the morning of 8 January 2020. pic.twitter.com/zhBGdBAjW5— Babak Taghvaee (@BabakTaghvaee) January 11, 2020
NEW: Video confirms that 2 missiles fired 30s apart downed Ukraine International Flight #PS752, killing all aboard. With @evanchill @john_marquee @babimarcolini @tiefenthaler and thanks to @gianfiorella. https://t.co/hXuffwiMXO— Malachy Browne (@malachybrowne) January 14, 2020
The first missile, fired from an IRGC battery about eight miles away, hit the plane shortly after it left the airport in Tehran on its way to Kyiv. It took out the transponder, but the plane was still in the air.
Then a second missile hit the plane about 23 seconds later.
According to the NY Times, neither completely took out the plane. It turned around, on fire, to try to go back to the airport, but it crashed shortly thereafter.
Firing two missiles is normal, but they typically fire both more rapidly (with a difference of ~4 seconds). Waiting 30 seconds is a life-time if we're talking about a short-range air defense system trying to counter cruise missiles. pic.twitter.com/4chNCQuxtf— Rob Lee (@RALee85) January 14, 2020
This is likely to inflame protesters still further.
Meanwhile, the Iranian government is denying that they lied about the plane not being shot down originally or that they tried to bulldoze away evidence despite video of bulldozers at the crash site.
“On these sad days, numerous criticisms were raised against the country’s officials; some of us have been accused of lying and secrecy. But honestly it was not like that,” spokesman Ali Rabiei told reporters on Monday.
“The reality is that we did not lie,” he added, blaming “a lack of valid information” and also “the US’s psychological warfare” for his own and other officials’ denials that the plane was shot down.
Mr Rabiei insisted that senior officials, including President Rouhani, did not know that missiles had been launched at the airliner until Friday evening.
However, the Revolutionary Guards’ Aerospace Force Commander, Brig-Gen Amir Ali Hajizadeh, had said when admitting its role in the “unintentional” strike that he had informed officials about it on Wednesday.
They’re now lying about lying. And of course, the United States is somehow responsible, according to them.
CBS crew just visited the #Ukrainian airlines crash site west of Tehran. Nine am local time. Virtually all pieces of the plane were removed yesterday - say locals. Scavengers now picking site clean. No security. Not cordoned off. No sign of any investigators. pic.twitter.com/hhNJyokhjq— Elizabeth Palmer (@elizapalmer) January 10, 2020
There have also been reports of officials allegedly telling the families of the victims not to talk to media, according to Masih Alinejad.
At least two Iranian state media reporters quit over the government lying and a former present has apologized for lying in the past.
IRIB presenter Zahra Khatami announced her departure Saturday in an Instagram post in which she thanked fans “for accepting me as an anchor until today.” She said she would “never again go back to television” and asked for forgiveness.
In a since-deleted Instagram post that same day, fellow presenter Saba Rad also said she was leaving. Rad, too, thanked Iranians for their support, but said that “after 21 years of working in radio and television. I am unable to continue working in the media, I cannot go on.”
Gelare Jabbari, who also worked for IRIB, said in her own Instagram post Sunday, “it was very hard for me to believe that my compatriots have been killed.” She added: “I’m sorry that I lied to you on Iranian television for 13 years. I left this job a few years ago and will never go back to television.”
Now that takes courage. Imagine if any of the reporters were to do that here, finally be honest about pushing the narrative, and they don’t have any of the threats and pressure that the Iranian reporters face.