In a panel about the downing of the Ukrainian Airlines passenger plane and the recent protests in Iran, Dr. Mohammadsadegh Koushki of Tehran University said that the protesters who claim to mourn the downing of the plane, are the same people who mourn the attacks on the U.S. bases in Iraq. Dr. Koushki claimed that the protesters were acting at the behest of "American devils." He continued to say that the mission of the protest organizers is to create more bereaved families like in the November 2019 protests. He accused Iranian celebrities and artists of support for the protests. Dr. Koushki lamented: "Do we have to experience the sweetness of our victory over America coupled with the recurrence of the November (2019) incidents?" Dr. Koushki added that U.S. President Trump fantasized about attacking 52 places in Iran, but he couldn't do it so he sent his "soldiers on Instagram and Twitter" to set those places on fire in his stead. Nader Talebzadeh, an Iranian TV host and filmmaker, said that they are protesting the turnout at Qasem Soleimani's funeral and the "might" of the Iranian retaliation against the U.S. killing of Qods Force commander Qasem Soleimani. The show's host, Amir Hossein Sabeti interjected by saying that the protesters want to "exact revenge for this epic week". Sabeti was the former head of the student Basijis at Tehran University faculty of Law and Political Science. Talebzadeh continued to say that even if there will be 10 more incidents similar to the downing of the Ukrainian plane, this would not compare to the magnitude of the "main event", i.e. the missile attacks on the U.S. bases. The host, Sabeti, added that if Iran had really wanted to cover up its role in the incident, it could have claimed that the Americans "messed" with the American Boeing aircraft. The show was aired on January 11, 2020, on the Iranian Ofogh TV, which is considered to be affiliated with the IRGC.
Dr. Mohammadsadegh Koushki: "Why would a group of people who view themselves as Iranians and claim to be mourning the incident [of the downing of the Ukrainian airliner], pump such hatred in order to make the November  incidents repeat themselves? Today, they called on people to gather across from Tehran University. Several people showed up and they desecrated a poster of Hajj Qasem Soleimani – the very same Hajj Qasem Soleimani who millions in Iran said they love. Is that incident Qasem Soleimani's fault? Is this why you at Amir Kabir University desecrated his poster? What kind of logic is this? Do you really feel sorry for the victims of this incident and mourn them? Is it Qasem Soleimani's fault? These are the same people who mourn [the missile attack on the U.S. bases]. The Americans were hit with missiles and become mournful, and today, these people issue calls to gather somewhere in Tehran tomorrow. These people who want to gather – what to do they expect to happen? Do they want to resurrect the victims of the incident? That is the question. Or maybe they are acting at the behest of someone. The mission of those who call to gather tomorrow in Tehran or other places is to turn families into bereaved families. If, God forbid, there is a %1 chance that this will happen, the responsibility for the victims of the coming days – in case there is a gathering like in November  – will lie squarely with those American devils who are pumping hatred in our country today. These people are the media hypocrites of today. They call themselves artists, but they place their art in the service of spreading hatred. They call themselves artists and celebrities. If you are a celebrity, why do you call for a gathering where Qasem Soleimani's poster will be desecrated?
"Do we have to experience the sweetness of our victory over America coupled with the recurrence of the November  incidents? Do they have to act so freely that they target 40 years of IRGC service?
"Trump fantasized about striking 52 points [in Iran] but he couldn't, so now he gave the job to his soldiers on Instagram and Twitter, who work for free, so that they will set those 52 points on fire."
Nader Talebzadeh: "We say that there was a mistake by our air-defense. Such mistakes happen in all countries in a time of war.
"The people who protest and gather in a certain place – it’s really interesting... They are protesting against three things: They are protesting against the PMU attack on the U.S. embassy [in Baghdad]. They are protesting and they don't like that a huge crowd showed up throughout Iran, and frightened even America... I am talking about the people who came to Qasem Soleimani's unique funeral. [They are also protesting] against Iran's retaliation. This group is upset about all three things and does not like any of them.
"These are the same people who are upset that Iran managed to retaliate with might."
Amir Hossein Sabeti: "They want to exact revenge for this epic week..."
Talebzadeh: "Even if there will be 10 more incidents like [the downing of the Ukrainian plane], they will be nothing compared to the main event [the missile attacks on U.S. bases]. How many times do we have to say... There could be, for example, an incident where a plane hits a mountain. In that case people also become mournful and sad. In this case, the air-defense thought that this was an enemy missile or plane.
"There will be more such incidents, and this is a test for us too: How do we treat such things. In how many languages do we have to say that this was a mistake, that we are sorry, and that we will fix what needs to be fixed? [We said this] three days after the incident."
Sabeti: "Like Dr. Koushki said, the Ukrainians did not have the evidence to blame us. If we really wanted to cover this up, we could have said that the Americans messed with the plane, which is an American Boeing aircraft."