Plane downing: what can Tehran's avowal change?

Iran has admitted that it unintentionally shot down the Ukrainian passenger jet that crashed last Wednesday in Tehran. The regime said the plane was downed as a result of a communication error that led it to believe it was being attacked by the US. Commentators discuss the ramifications.

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Adevărul (RO) /

Revolutionary guards given wrong tasks

Tehran should take a closer look at what led to the machine being shot down, security expert Iulian Chifu comments in Adevărul:

“The Supreme Religious Leader is the direct superior of the Revolutionary Guards. These paramilitary forces have naval, air force and missile units. They are a second army. It is questionable whether people who don't go to traditional military schools have the competence, training, morale and self-confidence to decide on matters of life and death alone and in seconds. ... And whether the ultra-religious indoctrination and outdated, conservative psychological training of these troops - who are first supposed to defend the regime and only then the country - are not playing a role in this impulse to push the missile launch button.”

Wedomosti (RU) /

There is a republican core in this regime

For Vedomosti, the admission shows that the Islamic Republic is far more republican in character than it may seem:

“The political regime in Iran is far from European ideas of democracy, and in many ways it is bloody, brutal and tyrannical. Civil protests against the state are regularly and ruthlessly quashed. And even now, as the Iranians protest against the attempted cover-up, the next wave of violence is sweeping across the country. Nevertheless Iran has far more reason to consider itself a republic than many of its neighbouring countries. Although the Revolutionary Guards are one of the pillars of the regime, the leadership's willingness to admit its guilt shows that the prestige of the state is still more important to the leaders of the Islamic Republic than the prestige of their Guards.”

NV (UA) /

Teach the fanatics a lesson

Iran must be held accountable, Yury Butusov, editor-in-chief of, demands in Novoye Vremja:

“Crazy religious fanatics got missiles from Putin and used them to kill 176 people. ... Ukraine and other affected countries must convene the UN Security Council and set up an international commission of inquiry to investigate the criminal attack on the Ukrainian plane. ... The Iranian leadership is not only responsible for the orders given to its inept troops. It didn't close its airspace, and thus exposed our aircraft to the attack. And for that they must bear the responsibility. Ukraine must teach these religious fanatics a lesson.”

The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

Europe was too naive

The Daily Telegraph sees all the suspicions against Iran confirmed:

“How could Mr Obama and his allies, including Britain we're sorry to say, believe that a dictatorship that lies on such a grand scale and murders its own citizens would take a huge chunk of money and not put a penny towards the development of a nuclear weaponry system? Even if it could be said that Iran was sticking to the letter of the agreement (which we cannot be certain of), it continued to test missiles that could theoretically, as soon as it put its nuclear programme back online, be used to deliver a payload. Donald Trump has many faults, but he deserves credit for refusing to take the regime on trust.”

Der Standard (AT) /

Protesters pointing their fingers at Khamenei

The Iranian regime's incompetence and cynicism could be its downfall, Der Standard speculates:

“The illusion of national unity that the regime was able to create after the extra-legal killing of General Qasem Soleimani by the USA has evaporated. This performance was also tainted by the mass panic at Soleimani's funeral in Kerman, where dozens of people died. And now it has been completely destroyed by the victims of the downed Boeing. ... On Sunday the Iranian media railed against 'those responsible' for the shooting - but the targets of their anger were different to those of demonstrators. Those in the chain of command who made the wrong decisions will probably be punished. But the people on the street are pointing directly at the system and its highest representative, Ali Khamenei.” (SK) /

Iran being treated unfairly considers it unjustified to compare the downing of the plane near Tehran with that of MH 17 over Ukraine:

“The plane near Tehran was hit by missiles because the Iranians suspected a US attack. This was not paranoia - it was the US that triggered the conflict when it murdered General Soleimani in violation of international law. ... No, the 176 victims will not come back to life. But the way Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reacted deserves attention. ... It took Tehran a week to acknowledge its guilt and repent. But in contrast to Rouhani, Putin still hasn't admitted his guilt to this day.”

Ekho Moskvy (RU) /

Putin's gang incapable of such an admission

Writer Viktor Shenderovich is upset on Echo of Moscow that Moscow - unlike Tehran - does not want to admit its guilt even six years after the shooting down of MH17:

“This is the difference between a criminal ideological regime and a gang of rogues. Not that the others are any better, God forbid! And nor are they any less dangerous, rather the opposite. But the ayatollahs (in their twisted minds) have Allah above them, who allows them to see the death of innocent people in the context of godly actions and their own stubborn self-opinionatedness. There is no green banner over Putin and co. but an invisible one with the slogan: 'You die today and I die tomorrow'. Hence the constant pushing and shoving and 'Prove it first' attitude. And if you then corner them with evidence, you get the middle finger in response.”