TEHRAN: A Ukrainian passenger plane which crashed outside Tehran earlier this week had flown close to a sensitive military site and was brought down due to human error, General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran said on Saturday.
In a statement carried by Iranian state TV, it read that the plane had flown close to a sensitive site belonging to Iran's Revolutionary Guards and that those responsible would be held accountable.
Iran had previously rejected suggestions that one of its missiles brought down the plane the Kiev-bound Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) flight PS75, which crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran, killing all the 176 people on board.
Saturday's development comes after Canadian prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday citing intelligence reports that the Ukrainian airliner was shot down by an Iranian missile. There were 63 Canadians on board.
The crash came just hours after Iran carried out missile strikes on two airbases housing US forces in Iraq in retaliation to the death of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani, who was killed in an American drone attack on January 3 in Baghdad.