Anatomy of a Lie: How Iran Covered Up the Downing of an Airliner
For three days, Iranian military officials knew they had shot down a Ukrainian jetliner while the government issued false statements, denying any responsibility.
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January 26, 2020 - by Farnaz Fassihi for nytimes.com
- For three days, Iranian military officials knew they had shot down a Ukrainian jetliner while the government issued false statements, denying any responsibility.
Within minutes, the top commanders of Iran's Revolutionary Guards realized what they had done. And at that moment, they began to cover it up.
For days, they refused to tell even President Hassan Rouhani, whose government was publicly denying that the plane had been shot down. When they finally told him, he gave them an ultimatum: come clean or he would resign.
Only then, 72 hours after the plane crashed, did Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, step in and order the government to acknowledge its fatal mistake.
The New York Times pieced together a chronology of those three days by interviewing Iranian diplomats, current and former government officials, ranking members of the Revolutionary Guards and people close to the supreme leader's inner circle and by examining official public statements and state media reports....
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