By Finian Cunningham | 11 Jan, 2020
Commendably, Iran has apologized for shooting down the passenger jet and killing all 176 people on board. It shows integrity to take responsibility for the disastrous loss of life at a time of intense adversity.
Now will other parties also show similar humility in admitting their role for creating precarious conditions where death seems an inevitable outcome? Specifically, can US President Donald Trump recognize that his administration’s policy of hellbent hostility towards Iran is driving up conflict and, ultimately, the loss of innocent lives?
The shoot-down of Flight 752 was a heartrending tragedy for countless families of several nationalities. Most of the dead were Iranians, which must add to the pain felt by that nation. But at least by owning up to the truth, the Iranian authorities have spared grieving victims from prolonged anguish of not knowing what happened.
The swift admission by Iran of its terrible error in shooting down the airliner – mistaken for an incoming enemy cruise missile – has taken critics of Iran by surprise. Two days after the plane came down, Western leaders and media were claiming it was an Iranian missile that caused it. Iranian aviation officials at first denied that, saying they believed it was a technical onboard problem, such as engine failure.
Critics of Iran were saying that “the regime” would stonewall the truth and hide behind obfuscation about what happened. Initial Iranian denials weren’t malicious. It was probably more a case of not knowing what happened in a situation of confusion and calamity. When the Iranians put their hand up to acknowledge it was one of their air defense units which had fired the missile, it took integrity and humility to admit fault.