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Jan 12, 2020
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IRGC Commander-in-chief General Hossein Salami: I Wish I Had Crashed and Burned with the Ukrainian Plane; I Wish to be “Cut in Pieces and Sacrificed” for the Sake of the Iranian People

#7727 | 05:15
Source: Channel 1 (Iran)

On January 12, 2020, IRGC Commander-in-chief General Hossein Salami briefed the Iranian Majles on the circumstances of the downing of the Ukrainian Airlines passenger plane. He said that on the night of Iran's attack against U.S. bases in Iraq, amidst all the commotion, the air-defense system showed an attack from U.S. cruise missiles, as cruise missiles fly at the same speed as a passenger plane does in low altitudes. General Salami added that "this brother of ours," referring to the system's operator, was momentarily disconnected from the security operations center. General Salami said that the IRGC was the source of the theory that it was an Iranian air-defense missile that had caused the Ukrainian airliner to crash, because of the proximity in time to the attack on the U.S. bases in Iraq, otherwise, no one else would have noticed. General Salami expressed his wish to have crashed and burned on that plane "rather than witness this sad affair." He added that the only thing he and his "brothers" can think about is their wish that "one day we will be cut in pieces and sacrificed for the sake of [the Iranian] people, its wishes and its prosperity." He continued to swear that from now on, the IRGC would "not allow a single Iranian to be harmed even in the slightest way." General Salami's statements were aired on Channel 1, Iranian TV.

 

 

Hossein Salami: "The Americans failed to intercept any of the missiles [fired at Ayn Al Asad Base]. All our missiles, with the exception of two, which in a natural manner, failed and landed in Iranian territory before reaching Iraq... All the other missiles reached [Iraq] and hit their targets.  

 

[...]

 

"We were all prepared. In the midst of all this commotion, we were getting various reports. For example: Our [air-defense] systems received reports about several [U.S.] cruise missiles in the air. All our people manning these systems prepared themselves to destroy the enemy's missiles or airplanes. Since a cruise missile, in terms of speed... In principle, it is a large drone. It has no pilot. Usually, it flies at the same speed as a passenger plane. When planes fly at low altitude... Cruise missiles also usually fly at low altitude. This brother of ours was on his highest alert.

 

[...]

 

"In addition, he had a report about cruise missiles in the air. For moments, he was disconnected from the security operations center.

 

[...]

 

"Our brothers found it suspicious that the firing of the [anti-aircraft missiles] coincided with the plane crash. I must tell you that. As God is my witness, we were the source of the theory that our missile might have hit [the plane] – only because of the timing. If we were not the source for this theory, nobody would have noticed.

 

[...]

 

"As God is my witness, I wish I were on that plane. I would have rather crashed and burned with them than witness this sad affair.

 

[...]

 

"As God is my witness – and I swear by the life of my children... I swear by God, that the only thing my brothers and I can think about is our wish that one day we will be cut in pieces and sacrificed for the sake of this people, its wishes and its prosperity.

 

[...]

 

"Never in my life have I been so ashamed. Never. Never. We may have made a mistake. We did. Some of our compatriots have turned into martyrs because of our mistake. But it wasn't on purpose. We apologize, we are ashamed, and there will be compensation. We will not allow a single Iranian to be harmed even in the slightest way. We are here – strong, steadfast, like a pillar.

 

[...]

 

"Rest assured, as long as we are here, nobody in the world... Even if all the forces united [against us], not a single hair will fall from your heads and the heads of our people.

 

[...]

 

"This regime is the best regime there is. Go and see where in the world there is a regime... Where is there a military force that tries to prove the truth rather than conceal it?"

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