January 11, 2020 / 7:39 PM / 14 days ago

Factbox: Reactions to Iran's statement it downed Ukrainian plane

(Reuters) - Iran said on Saturday its military had shot down a Ukrainian plane killing all 176 aboard in a “disastrous mistake”, saying air defenses were fired in error while on alert after Iranian missile strikes on U.S. targets in Iraq.

A view shows the area before the Boeing 737-800 plane, flight PS 752, crashed after take-off from Iran's Imam Khomeini airport, on the outskirts of Tehran, in this handout Maxar's WorldView-3 satellite image obtained January 11, 2020. Satellite image ©2020 Maxar Technologies/Handout via REUTERS

Iran had previously denied that it had downed the plane. Following are some reactions to Tehran’s announcement:

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKIY

“I insist on immediately completing identification of the bodies and their return to Ukraine,” he wrote on Twitter after speaking to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. “The perpetrators must be held accountable.”

In a televised address later, he said the findings by Ukrainian experts in Iran meant that the truth about the crash could not be concealed.

CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER JUSTIN TRUDEAU

“What Iran has admitted to is very serious. Shooting down a civilian aircraft is horrific. Iran must take full responsibility,” Trudeau told a news conference.

“Canada will not rest until we get the accountability, justice, and closure that the families deserve.”

BRITISH PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON

“Iran’s admission that Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was shot down by mistake by its own armed forces is an important first step,” Johnson said in a statement.

“We now need a comprehensive, transparent and independent international investigation and the repatriation of those who died ...We can all see very clearly that further conflict will only lead to more loss and tragedy. It is vital that all leaders now pursue a diplomatic way forward.”

SENIOR TRUMP ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL

“Ultimately, Iran made an awful mistake,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “Iran’s reckless actions have again had devastating consequences.”

ANTHONY BRICKHOUSE, AIR SAFETY EXPERT AT EMBRY-RIDDLE AERONAUTICAL UNIVERSITY

“There’s nothing you can do to cover it up or hide it ... Evidence is evidence.”

Reporting by Matthias Williams in Kiev, Jonathan Steve Scherer in Ottawa, Allison Lampert in Montreal; Compiled by Frances Kerry; Editing by Giles Elgood

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