|Ned Harris @flicker.com|
Iran thought US stealth fighters were on their way when they shot down plane - Russia | Newshub:
Russia says they believed US stealth fighters were on their way to Tehran.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Iran's accidental shooting down of a Ukrainian airliner
occurred when Tehran was spooked by reports of advanced US stealth fighters in the area.
"There were at least six [US] F-35 fighters in the air in the Iranian border area [at the time]," Lavrov said.
"This information has yet to be verified, but I'd like to underline the edginess that always accompanies such situations."
Iran's downing of Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 last week, which killed all 176 people aboard, has created a crisis for the Islamic Republic's clerical rulers.
They have faced days of protests after the Iranian military admitted it shot down the plane accidentally.
Lavrov, speaking at his annual news conference in Moscow on Friday, called the incident a human error and said he was not trying to excuse anyone for what happened.
But he said it was important to understand the context and that the incident had occurred hours after an Iranian missile attack on US bases in Iraq, when Iranian forces were braced for some kind of US military retaliation.
"There is information that the Iranians were expecting another attack from the United States after the strike but did not know what form it might take," Lavrov said.
An Iranian representative will travel to Ukraine next week, Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko told parliament on Friday (January 17).
He said Iran was willing to pass on to Ukraine the data and voice recorders from the flight after examination by a joint investigation team comprising experts from Iran, Canada and Ukraine.
"We must talk about recognition of political responsibility by the Iranian top officials," said Prystaiko. "Moreover, we are not discussing which soldier pressed the button, no. It is not enough for us and we stated it from the very beginning. Not a soldier who pressed a button, but the whole team - who gave an order, who allowed the downing, whose mistake on the highest level it was."
False Flag? Fmr CIA Officer Suggests US Hacked Ukrainian Plane Transponder To Provoke Iran Shootdown
Philip Giraldi, a former counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer of the CIA, penned a piece in the American Herald Tribune speculating that the U.S. launched several cyber-attacks, one on an Iranian missile defense system, and another on the transponder of the doomed Ukrainian plane.
Giraldi explains the Iranian missile operator experienced extreme "jamming" and Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752's transponder was switched off several minutes before the two Russian made Tor missiles were launched.
"The shutdown of the transponder, which would have automatically signaled to the operator and Tor electronics that the plane was civilian, instead automatically indicated that it was hostile. The operator, having been particularly briefed on the possibility of incoming American cruise missiles, then fired," he said.
Giraldi said the Tor missile system used by Iran is vulnerable to being hacked or "spoofed," and at the same moment, Flight 752's transponder was taken offline "to create an aviation accident that would be attributed to the Iranian government."
The Pentagon has reportedly developed technologies that can trick enemy radars with false and deceptively moving targets, he said.
"The same technology can, of course, be used to alter or even mask the transponder on a civilian airliner in such a fashion as to send false information about identity and location. The United States has the cyber and electronic warfare capability to both jam and alter signals relating to both airliner transponders and to the Iranian air defenses. Israel presumably has the same ability," Giraldi said.
Iran made the claim Wednesday that "enemy sabotage" cannot be ruled out in the downing of the plane........read rest of article
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