A Very Sad Day

Today, the aerospace commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, in his remarks on Iran’s state television, made a heartfelt and sincere apology for the recent tragedy which shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane which killed 176 passengers and crew on a flight from Tehran to Kyiv.

In tearful eyes he stated to Iran and to the world “I take full responsibility and I will obey whatever decision is taken. I would prefer to die rather than witness such an incident”.

There are the pessimists in the world who will claim that Iran’s public admission of guilt is not genuine, but rather sympathetic words to appear to the world as a “regrettable mistake”.

There are others, optimists like myself, who believe that the Iranian government’s words are genuine expressions of guilt and responsibility.

Whether you like it or not, Iran is a civilized nation. Most of the passengers on the tragic flight were Iranian citizens.

In official statements the Iranian government said that the mistake was made by the aerospace missile operator who fired without any orders to do so because he had only ten seconds to decide whether or not to launch the strike.

The terrible tragedy was the response of human error, NOT by government instructions.

The Iranian armed forces issued what appears to be a genuine expression of sympathy and extended condolences to the families of the victims.

Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammed Javad Zarif, issued the following statement to the Iranian people as well as to the world:

“Human error at the time of a crisis caused by U.S. adventurism led to this disaster. This is a very sad day. We offer our profound regrets, apologies and condolences to the families of all the victims….”

Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh and the aerospace missile operator of the Revolutionary Guards obviously were on guard for American further military responses following the assassination of Quassem Solameini.

One can certainly understand Iran’s worried concern. It is that which led to the dreadful missile attack on a passenger plane.

Iran clearly lays the blame on “U.S. adventurism” which caused the alert missile operator to regrettably react. A “knee-jerk” reaction.

Words of apology and condolences will not suffice neither the families of the victims nor the government of Ukraine. Even demanded financial compensation will not suffice.

What price can be put on 176 lives?

There can be compensation for a downed Boeing aircraft whose price is known. But how is compensation for dead victims decided?

It was a sad day. A very sad day for Iran, for Ukraine and for humanity.

I do believe in the genuine admission of guilt from the official Iranian government and military statements. I believe that they were sincere apologies and condolences.

The question remaining before us is : Where will Iran go from here to correct a very sad day?

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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