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Jan 11, 2020
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Iranian General Hajizadeh in 2016: Air-Defense Operators Have the Authority to Fire Missiles without Permission; Hajizdeh in 2020: The Operator Failed to Ask for Permission Before Downing the Ukrainian Plane

#7726 |
Source: IRIB Ofogh TV (Iran)IRINN TV (Iran)

In an interview with the Iranian IRINN TV, aired on March 10, 2016, General Amir Ali Hajizadeh commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force said that low-ranking operators have full permission to launch air defense missiles at their own discretion. On January 11, 2020, following the Iranian downing of a Ukrainian Airlines plane, which was mistaken for a cruise missile, General Hajizadeh appeared in a press conference, which was aired on the Iranian Ofogh TV. In the press conference, General Hajizadeh said that he heard about the "heart-wrenching incident" of the downing of the Ukrainian plane and that when he ascertained that "the incident had indeed taken place," he wished he were dead. He added that the IRGC Aerospace Force accepts full responsibility for this incident and will abide by any decision made by the senior officials. General Hajizadeh explained that the "poor guy" who was operating the air-defense system that night failed to do his duty and contact his superior officers to confirm the identity of what appeared to be a cruise missile. General Hajizadeh continued to suggest that this was due to a communication system malfunction, whether because the communication system had been jammed or was overloaded. General Hajizadeh added that the fact that it took several days to make this incident public is not because someone was trying to hide anything but due to the inquest. General Hajizadeh said that "ultimately, this (incident) is the outcome of America's provocations and measures in the region." He continued to say that while he was in the west of the country overseeing the missile attack on the U.S. base in Iraq, "other dear people" were in charge of closing off the Iranian airspace and they should have done so. However, due to the high tensions that night, "the ground was paved for one individual to make this huge mistake."


March 10, 2016

Amir Ali Hajizadeh: "Look, in order to launch a missile – [air] defense missile, for example... Do we ask permission from anyone if an enemy plane approaches? A low-ranking officer could be sitting there by the system, and he would get notified, and launch [the missile]. Some time ago, when we hit the Hermes [drone] of the Zionist regime in Natanz – did they get permission from me? Did they get permission from the General Staff [of the Armed Forces]? Did they get permission from the air defense commander? The officer who was by the system saw it, identified it, and hit it.



January 11, 2020

Amir Ali Hajizadeh: "I heard about the heart-wrenching incident of the downing of the Ukrainian Airlines airplane when I was in the west of the country, after completing the missile strikes against the American bases. When I made sure that this incident had indeed taken place, I wanted to die. I wished I were dead and didn't have to witness this incident.


"We accept full responsibility for this. We will abide by any decision of the senior officials.


"When this happened, the [air-defense] system encountered a target that was identified as a cruise missile 19 kilometers away.


"In light of the information provided to the system's operator – that this was a battle situation and that a cruise missile was fired – the poor guy identified [the plane] as a cruise missile. Okay, in such a situation he had the duty to make contact and receive information. This is where the operator made a mistake. But under those circumstances, apparently his communication system malfunctioned. Whether it was because of the jamming systems or due to the overloading of the communications network – he could not make contact. He had 10 seconds to make a decision.


"We reported [the incident] but the necessary inquiries had to be made. The fact that it has taken a few days until this information was made public is not because someone was trying to hide something. The procedure is that the general staff needs to investigate this.


"We are sorry. Ultimately, this is the outcome of America's provocations and measures in the region. On that night, we were ready for a comprehensive confrontation.


"Just as I, on that night, was in the west of the country, commanding the missile strikes, other, dear people, were responsible [for closing the airspace] here, and they should have done so. But the ground was paved for one individual to make this huge mistake, and this incident occurred, unfortunately."

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