TEHRAN, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the aerospace commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), said Saturday that the IRGC accepts responsibility for the crash of a Ukrainian plane over Iran's airspace.
"We accept full responsibility for this act (shooting down the plane), and we will obey and carry out what decisions the authorities will make," Hajizadeh was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.
The Iranian commander said that since Iran was on "high alert" on Wednesday because of the U.S. threats of possibly hitting 52 spots in the country, the operator of the missile launch site was concerned about a possible "U.S. cruise missile."
The passenger plane was mistaken for a "U.S. cruise missile," Hajizadeh said, adding that the missile operator also encountered some communication problems and "he made a bad decision, triggered the missile and hit the plane."
Hajizadeh denied that some authorities, including those in the Iranian Aviation Organization, attempted to "hide" the truth. "They made comments based on their own knowledge," he said.
Hajizadeh added that "the Iranian armed forces and the IRGC did not want to hide the truth either."
On Wednesday, a Ukrainian Boeing 737 passenger plane crashed near Tehran, killing all 176 people onboard.
Iran's armed forces on Saturday admitted that the Ukrainian plane was "unintentionally" hit by Iran and "human error" was to blame.
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