Millennium Post

A costly and appalling error

In a most-difficult U-turn to its own word, Iran admitted to the grievous human-error that made 176 lives perish in the Ukrainian plane crash near Tehran. In retaliation to US assassination of its top military commander, Iran launched more than 20 ballistic missiles locked on two US bases in Iraq. While the attack reported no casualties from Iraq, Iran unintentionally hit a passenger aircraft which took off from Tehran Airport at the same time as missiles were launched. The victims include 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, 4 Afghans, 3 Germans and 3 British nationals. Initial reports cited mechanical errors and system failure, pinning the blame on the aircraft manufacturer Boeing. But a series of video footages and eyewitness accounts simmered the possibility of an unintentional hit by Iran itself. Iran's initial denial is what hurt maximum sentiments. In an event of an international plane crash, norm says there must be immediate communication between countries party to the unfortunate event followed by expedited recovery of the black box to unearth what went wrong. Iran's refusal to share the black box with Ukrain was in itself sketchy. Ukraine had every right to go through those details before the crash as it had analysed everything from its end which pointed to no-error. Iran's admission of the unfortunate event being committed by its own hands, and that too after days of the crash is shameful. Admitting to the mistake might be the better thing to do but denying it downplays the admission to wrongdoing. It is more than just a mistake and consequences have been very, very costly. Under no circumstance can this plane crash be ignored because it points to how carelessness can be disastrous. Protests sparked in Tehran following Iran's admission and demands of top leaders stepping down from their post was floated. While Iran's president made an official statement, countries such as Israel came down heavily on him for such a callous attitude.

The entire incident calls for a revision of the international flying conventions which should deliberate over the topic to ensure stern deterrents for nations committing such mistakes. Mistakes which cost human lives cannot be overlooked. The incident also speaks about how agitations between nations brew deadly collateral damage. The culprit, narrowing it down to whoever, the officer-in-charge, the commander, the political head, should be punished and an official apology with compensation must be offered to the kin of all those who died in the plane crash. While Iran must fulfill its apology to the world for its error, there ought to be a flying curfew initiated for all places in the world in the wake of international conflicts so as to avoid collateral damage in future.

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