Officials monitor the wreckage of a Ukrainian Boeing 737 about 30 miles south of Tehran, Iran, on January 8. Photo by Morteza Nikoubazi/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Iran's civil aviation authority said in a second report Tuesday that Tehran did mistakenly fire two missiles at a Ukrainian airliner two weeks ago, before it crashed and killed everyone aboard.
The Civil Aviation Organization of Islamic Republic of Iran report concluded that Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 was targeted by two Russian-made Tor-M1 missiles fired by Iranian military personnel. The plane, it said, was hit shortly after it left Imam Khomenei International Airport on Jan. 8.
Military personnel mistook the Boeing 737-800 for a cruise missile, it noted. Tuesday's report was the second preliminary assessment from the CAOI since the crash.
Though it first blamed a mechanical failure for the crash, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps eventually admitted the plane was hit by a missile, which prompted a wave of anti-government protests across Iran.
The IRGC was high alert at the time of the shootdown, just hours after it had fired other missiles at two U.S. bases in Iraq -- attacks that were retaliation for the U.S. killing days earlier of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad.
Tuesday's report said air traffic controllers were unable to contact the Kiev-bound flight six minutes after takeoff, and the airliner disappeared from radar after reaching an altitude of 8,100 feet.
Hassan Rezaeifar, a safety inspector at Iran's Civil Aviation Organization and head of the accident investigation board, said Sunday Iran would not send the "black boxes" to Ukraine. Instead, the report said officials have requested technical assistance from U.S. and French aviation authorities.
The report said neither has "responded positively" and officials are considering buying equipment to analyze the data themselves.