Ukrainian airliner may have been shot down by faulty Russian anti-air system in Iran
Ukrainian experts are considering two theories regarding the crash of the Ukrainian International Airlines plane in Iran which, if proved, could point to Russia, wrote Yuriy Butusov, journalist and editor-in-chief of Censor.NET, on Facebook.
According to him, experts are considering a theory in which a Russia-produced Iranian Tor-2ME anti-air system fired a missile by mistake, and another theory in which there was a technical fault in the automatic operation of the Ranzhir-M1 and Tor-2ME anti-air command post, also produced in Russia. The latter may have been deployed in Iran by Russian specialists.
In the journalist’s opinion, although this previously seemed unlikely, more evidence has been surfacing which suggests that the Ukrainian plane was downed by a Russia-produced anti-air missile in the international flight zone directly above the Tehran airport.
“How is this possible? That night, Iran fired ballistic missiles at two American military bases, and was expecting a retaliatory attack. The anti-air defense system was made fully combat ready,” he wrote.
The journalist noted that passenger aircraft look very different to combat aircraft on a radar screen. For this reason, the attack could have been caused by:
1. Erroneous representation of the situation in the air and erroneous target acquisition
2. The Tor-2ME being placed in automatic mode. In this mode, the system would automatically attack targets that are not protected by the friend-or-foe recognition system.
If this theory is correct, then responsibility for the tragedy would lie both with the Russians, whose equipment poses a safety hazard, and the Iranian military command.
Butusov believes that it is also necessary to find out whether there were Russian soldiers or mercenaries at the anti-air system controls on that night.
“If Iran accuses the Russian anti-air missile systems of having technical faults, the responsibility could be placed not only on Iran, but also on Russia,” the journalist resumed, noting that these are the theories.
Previously Iran tried to refute the “senseless rumors” that the Ukrainian airliner could have been hit by a missile.