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January 11, 2020

Iranian Armed Forces Say They Inadvertently Shot Down The Ukrainian Plane - Updated

Updated below

The Iranian Armed Forces General Staff just admitted (in Farsi, English translation) that its air defenses inadvertently shot down the Ukrainian flight PS 752 shortly after it took off on January 8 in Tehran :

2- In early hours after the missile attack [on US’ Ain al-Assad base in Iraq], the military flights of the US’ terrorist forces had increased around the country. The Iranian defence units received news of witnessing flying targets moving towards Iran’s strategic centres, and then several targets were observed in some [Iranian] radars, which incited further sensitivity at the Air Defence units.

3- Under such sensitive and critical circumstances, the Ukrainian airline’s Flight PS752 took off from Imam Khomeini Airport, and when turning around, it approached a sensitive military site of the IRGC, taking the shape and altitude of a hostile target. In such conditions, due to human error and in an unintentional move, the airplane was hit [by the Air Defence], which caused the martyrdom of a number of our compatriots and the deaths of several foreign nationals.

4- The General Staff of the Armed Forces offers condolences and expresses sympathy with the bereaved families of the Iranian and foreign victims, and apologizes for the human error. It also gives full assurances that it will make major revision in the operational procedures of its armed forces in order to make impossible the recurrence of such errors. It will also immediately hand over the culprits to the Judicial Organization of the Armed Forces for prosecution.

The Pentagon had claimed that Iran shot down the airliner but the evidence it presented was flimsy and not sufficient as the U.S. tends to spread disinformation about Iran.

It is welcome that the Iranian forces come clean about the incident.

That is not a given in such cases.

After the USS Vincennes in 1988 had shot down Iran Air Flight 655 and killed 290 people, including many children, the U.S. government denied any culpability. George H. W. Bush, the vice president of the United States at the time, commented: "I will never apologize for the United States – I don't care what the facts are... I'm not an apologize-for-America kind of guy." Despite its "error" the crew was given medals and the captain was even awarded a Legion of Merit "for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service as commanding officer ...".

We can be assured by the statement of Iran's president that the responsible Iranian officer will receive no such a reward:

Hassan Rouhani @HassanRouhani - 4:43 UTC · 11 Jan 2020
Armed Forces’ internal investigation has concluded that regrettably missiles fired due to human error caused the horrific crash of the Ukrainian plane & death of 176 innocent people.
Investigations continue to identify & prosecute this great tragedy & unforgivable mistake. #PS752

The Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake.

My thoughts and prayers go to all the mourning families. I offer my sincerest condolences.

Let us also not forget that the root cause of the accident was an assassination campaign which the U.S. launched against foreign military commanders of a country with which it is not at war:

On the day U.S. forces killed Soleimani, they launched another secret operation targeting a senior Iranian official in Yemen

The strike targeting Abdul Reza Shahlai, a financier and key commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force who has been active in Yemen, did not result in his death, according to four U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

The U.S. executed a long planned campaign against several Iranian officers in third countries without any reasonable justification:

“There is no doubt that there were a series of imminent attacks being plotted by Qasem Soleimani,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News on Friday. “We don’t know precisely when and we don’t know precisely where, but it was real.” Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper have likewise supported the case for an imminent plot.

“Did it exactly say who, what, when, where? No,” Milley told reporters this week. “But he was planning, coordinating and synchronizing significant combat operations against U.S. military forces in the region, and it was imminent.”

Can there be any "imminent threat" when one does not know the "who, what, when, where" of the threat? Why would killing a high officer prevent the execution of such a threat? The excuse is obviously bullshit.

It was the U.S. assassination of the Iraqi and Iranian national heroes Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes and Major General Qassem Suleimani that led to the high alarm and nervousness which, in the end, killed 176 passengers and crew on board of flight PS 752.

Iran's foreign minister is right to point that out:

Javad Zarif @JZarif - 4:05 UTC · 11 Jan 2020
A sad day. Preliminary conclusions of internal investigation by Armed Forces:

Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster

Our profound regrets, apologies and condolences to our people, to the families of all victims, and to other affected nations.

The death of the people on flight PS 752 is the tragic outcome of unreasonable U.S. aggression.

Update 11:00 UTC

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp IRGC's Aerospace Commander Amir-Ali Hajizadeh just gave press conference. It was an IRGC air defense unit that shot the plane down.

Iran Front Page journalist Reza Khaasteh translated on Twitter:

IRGC Aerospace Cmdr: I wish I was dead and such an incident hadn't happened. We in IRGC accept all the responsibility, and are ready to implement any decision made by the Establishment.

IRGC Aerospace Cmdr: I was in the country's west following attacks on US base in Iraq when I heard the news. We sacrificed our lives for our people for a lifetime, and now we're trading our reputation with God (disgracing ourselves) and appear in front of the camera to explain.

IRGC Aerospace Cmdr says we had requested the establishment of a no-fly zone given the war situation. But it was not approved for certain considerations.

Revision: IRGC Aerospace Cmdr says Air Defence operator sent a message to his commanders; but after he didn't receive any response for 10 seconds, he decided to shoot it down.

Video of IRGC Aerospace Cmdr. showing the place on map where the Ukrainian plane was shot down by the air defence.

IRGC Aerospace Cmdr: I informed Iranian officials on Wednesday morning, and said we speculate our own passenger plane has been shot down. But the General Staff of Armed Forces quarantined all those who knew about it, and decided to declare it later.

IRGC Aerospace Cmdr.: The officials, including Aviation authorities, who kept denying the missile hit, are not guilty. They made those remarks based on what they knew. We are to blame for everything.

IRGC Aerospace Cmdr.: We were at that time ready for an all-out war with US. We had reports of cruise missiles fired at Iran. It was an individual's error that caused this tragedy.

What I find inexplicable is that the crew of Tor M-1 air defense system did not really consider that the Tehran airport was operating and that civil traffic was likely. More than ten planes had already taken off before the Ukrainian flight took to the air. The accident happened shortly after 6:00 am local time. Pure speculation: I suspect that a crew change had happened at 6:00 am and that the overnight crew did not really brief the one taking over.

Another leak (ukr) from the Ukrainian side of the investigation gives some hints on how the plane came down (machine translation):

"We took up the restoration of fragments of the aircraft. It was necessary to determine how these pieces of metal dumped into a huge pile should be interconnected.

The intrigue remained until late. The fact is that there were no damages on most parts of the aircraft. There was no explosion and no fire in the engines or on the wings. It is possible that the plane could fall almost intact. Unlike the remains of the Boeing MN-17, there were no immediately visible signs of defeat by combat elements on the fuselage and wings. A lot of damage to the case is the result of a fall. But after laying out all the fragments of the aircraft, it became obvious that the bottom of the cockpit was missing.

Among the wreckage, fragments of the upper part of the cabin were identified. And then the find finally took place - at about 22 hours. On a fragment of the cockpit, we found holes in the damaging elements of the warhead of the rocket, which pierced the skin. We found! For the first time, direct evidence appeared in this case, which made it possible to prove what caused the death of the aircraft. For us it was a turning point.

So what we now understand:

Russian anti-aircraft missile "Tor" hit the liner in the lower part of the front of the fuselage, directly under the cockpit.

A direct hit and the cabin flared up inside. Instantly turned off the transponder of the aircraft, which gives signals about the flight. Instantly lost contact.

While there is no data, one or two missiles have caused such damage. It is possible that the second missile also hit the fuselage from below close to the first. But all this remains to be clarified.

We continue to lay out fragments of the aircraft until the complete collection of all surviving parts.

We expect that today we will gain access to all objective control data.

In cooperation with Iranian colleagues, we get the impression that those who contact us sincerely want to help themselves and figure it out, in general, there are no problems. Let's hope that such a mood and working contacts remain with us now."

Posted by b on January 11, 2020 at 4:21 UTC | Permalink

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james | Jan 11 2020 22:32 utc | 296

British base at Cyprus had their Raytheon jet readied and flew it towards believed Rus S400 general direction in Syria to intercept possible frequency broadcasts from possible sudden system operational deployment and or emergency check. Systems were silent.
That was an act of war. British ambassador summoning was the right thing to do.

Posted by: Qparticle | Jan 11 2020 22:48 utc | 301

@Posted by: Zanon | Jan 11 2020 22:42 utc | 300

There is a fifth column in Iran, as it is everywhere else. Sometimes they are related to each other, as we have the fascist party Vox, trying by all means to create havoc in Spain, financed by MEK and promoted from the WH..

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 11 2020 22:49 utc | 302

Zanon: Thank you very much. Sometimes it makes a huge difference to see that one is not alone with a specific perspective.
I have been following MoA daily since before the Syrian war. But i rarely comment now, let alone engage in dicussions that are mostly anyway determined to end in dogmatic attacks.
Seeing many others here sharing my observations, made me engage in discussion here for the first time in years.
Seems some good can come from such a disaster.

Trailer Trash: You are absolutely right. Objectivity can never be truely attained, but it always must be fought for, even if it is futile to believe one can ever achieve it.
And i dont have any secret sauce or magic trick.
But just creating dogma against a dogma, or mirroring (Like some say, that when MSM reports something, the total opposite must always be true) can never ever be a solution.
You are right that this may be a question for sociology. I would say for Psychology too.
But we also must always work to become more unbiased, more open, and more self-questioning.

Another thing: I have pushed MoA articles to many Journalists. I got a single one (Thomas Pany from German Online Magazine Telepolis) to use his work.
From everyone else i got answers like "This is the guy that claimed that Zika Virus is a hoax, says Bellingcat".
And do you know what? They are RIGHT! That he did, and Bellinngcat can use this till eternally to make him look like a tin foil hat wearer.

Even if 90% of articles are unbiased, it needs only one big error to destory everything.
When we want Alt-Media replacing MSM, we need to be MORE unbiased, MORE free in thinking than MSM.
That may not be fair, but that is the way it is.

We can stay a small group of people, who can be better informed than most. If we do not professionalize and outperform MSM by journalistic ethic and standards, we will change nothing.
Then everything here is wortless; We can believe to be better informed, we have no impact in reality.
And that should be our goal, that we really can make a difference.

Another point: Just imagine you want people to bring to Alt Media. If you told them: "Yeah, likely Iran did not do this because this and that" and then a day later Iran admits it, you will have lost all credibility. No matter what other important informations you offer, noone will believe you.
Like B is the blogger who believed the Zika Virus to be fake, you will be the dude that believes every lie of "the mullah regime".
One stupid article will break ones credibility. Opposed to MSM.
We need to be better then MSM. Show the world that we have a better journalistic ethic and work methods. Are more independent.
Every else will not make a difference beyond a small crowd.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Jan 11 2020 22:51 utc | 303

This was all planned for regime change.

Trump just tweeted this. (In farsi )

A clone of the Hong Kong protests.

Posted by: irate | Jan 11 2020 22:52 utc | 304

Posted by: dave | Jan 11 2020 22:01 utc | 288

By not closing the airspace they used the airliners as human shield against potential USAF attacks. Same thing what the Ukrainians did.

If I remember correctly, the suspicon was that Ukrainian fighter jets used the shadows of civilian planes for not getting hit until a civilian plane got hit. Much to the embarrassment of some Western countries, ie Germany, the Ukrainian government proved that they had informed Western embassies on the dangers of Eastern Ukrainian airspace where "rebels" had a de facto free fly zone.

But obviously, yes, they did not want to interrupt business and did not want to show to their people that they are at de facto direct war with the US.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 11 2020 22:56 utc | 305

Four cats the Hong Knog riotters´style, claiming for regime change in Teheran in a blurred video, are promised a "better future" by Pompeo...

It must be the same kind of "better future" they got the Iraqi people, where they do not revuilt the previosuly destroyed infrastructure they themselves bombed to ashes, unless they are paid the 50% of Iraqi oil revenues, plus some more bribes...

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 11 2020 22:56 utc | 306

@Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Jan 11 2020 22:51 utc | 303

By allegedly claiming for a "professional unbiased journalism" you take advantage to promote here during all day the US WH/Pentagon/Iranian diaspora points, which are preciselly those pormoted by Bellingcat...

Not, by venturing it was unlikely that the Iranians would have downed the airliner one does not lose its credibility, since nobody owns a crystal ball, what b and other so called analysts do, and even we commenters, is analyse the patterns and in what way any actor beneffits or gets prejudiced y any event.

If b would be always right about anything he would not be called b but The Oracle...

Of course, we are all ideologically biased, the same happens with you, dude...

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 11 2020 23:05 utc | 307

There are no rules for Trump, but I thought he was reasonably up front in attacking people and countries, but this operation shows he is also a back door man like lead from behind Obama.
Smart operation that has put Iran on the back foot. Trump is a dangerous calculating opponent who keeps tactics well concealed even though his goals are stated.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 11 2020 23:06 utc | 308

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 11 2020 22:14 utc | 291

Or they just used the opportunity. They sure have tried to prove to Iran that their air defences are useless. They succeeded but not in a way they could make military use of - except politically.

Actually, it is quite similar to MH17 - Ukrainian "rebels" continued to enjoy their free flight zone but Russia (and Europe which would very much like to do business with Russia) had to deal with the political fall out.

Europe (and Russia) have a strong incentive to avoid more sanctions against Iran.

It is quite possible that this is the beginning of the end of NATO. Iran has proven their machinery to be of no use, and Trump has proven "Western values" to be of no use. I think there is a new performance where he gloats of having secured Syrian oil.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 11 2020 23:12 utc | 309

Forgot to add to above post: "readied while and flew right after US drone attack in Iraq.
I believe Pompeo personally ordered the operation from his phone from Larnaka airport in Cyprus, to US and British Cmndrs in the region, while Netta was landing in Athens.

irate | Jan 11 2020 22:52 utc | 304

CNN's BBC's and other alphabet soup agencies possing as news seem they have the funeral processions videos (Suleimani casket travelled through many cities in Iran) to misspresent as regime change protests. Winter clothing video footage of protestors wont look legit when the spring/summer time will come in Iran. Trumpf/Mossad better hurry up that regime change thingie...

Posted by: Qparticle | Jan 11 2020 23:14 utc | 311

I gotta agree with the developing consensus that the plane was most likely being used as a weapon. I don't blame the TOR operators. In their shoes who wouldn't do the same with jammed/down comms and seconds count? The ability of Boeing jets to be remotely controlled and the FAA ban on US flights over Tehran exclusively with the loss of transponder sending 20-30 seconds says there was likely something in the works. This is what I meant with my posts last night.
If it could ever be proven that Boeing planes are being used as RC weaponized drones, the fallout would be epic.

Posted by: Sorghum | Jan 11 2020 23:18 utc | 312

Peter AU1 291

We agree that there was a US response, and that the plane was involved in this response. You think it was the idea from the beginning to trick Iranian air defense into shooting this particular plane down, I think there was a different target and things did not go according to plan, while the plane played a role. Both of us are speculating. You think the operation was successful, I say no, things went wrong. The US could not continue with their operation as this would have made it obvious they had utilized the plane in some way. It's different from the incident where Syria shot down a Russian military plane when Israeli jets used it as cover - this here was a civilian plane. So, speculation from my side.

It's also to be observed that 146 people on the plane were Iranian citizens; this could speak for your theory as this is a problem for the government of Iran (protests) ("One-hundred forty-six victims held Iranian passport, ten Afghan, five Canadian, four Swede and two Ukrainian. All nine crew members consisting of three cockpit crew and six cabin crew were Ukrainian. Note: A number of victims could have had multiple nationalities, so other news reports might introduce them with different nationalities than the ones in this report. The above list concerns the passport with which they left the Islamic Republic of Iran air border.")

I have no means to know. I am sure, though, that the big mouthed announcement of Trump is real. There was a response. I hope the dams won't hold for this one.

Posted by: E Mo Scel | Jan 11 2020 23:19 utc | 313

E Mo Scel

Various MSM have stories of victims. The British and Canadian victims I saw in these articles all had Iranian names. Students expats ect returning to Iran for a visit.
One couple to get married in Iran.
Seemed to be a large number of university students including a couple of professors.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 11 2020 23:32 utc | 314

Posted by: irate | Jan 11 2020 23:12 utc | 310

Yep. This is now full color revolution regime change mode. The logo is there, I am waiting for the slogan (at present Teheran students still seem to shout "down with the US, no repression at home".)

Donald Trump - I won't link to it - suddenly tweets in Farsi "I am with you".

For consistency's sake he should check his border policies. He really thinks people are stupid (well, the team that servicing his account).

I don't know how the MAGA crowd will take their president talking Farsi.

Anybody using BUK/TOR or related Russian systems should check the software.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 11 2020 23:35 utc | 315

@somebody "But obviously, yes, they did not want to interrupt business and did not want to show to their people that they are at de facto direct war with the US."

That business as usual does not make sense, then why did the government tell their people they killed dozens of US personnel, doesn't that mean then they declared war to America? Don't they want to unite their population in a (propaganda) war against America? You can not get that uniting effect with business as usual.

Posted by: dave | Jan 11 2020 23:38 utc | 316

Regarding the FAA NOTAMS restricting airspace a list is provided here. It is not accurate to claim only Tehran was restricted:

(ORBB) - 07 JAN 23:45 2020 UNTIL PERM. CREATED: 07 JAN 23:49 2020


Notice these cover national airspace, it is not limited to the cities they refer to. The timezones are UTC.

Posted by: Vasco da Gama | Jan 11 2020 23:39 utc | 317

Well Israel and neocons sure have a good laugh how well it turned out for them past week. Not sure how Iran will be able to get back from this anytime soon, now being attacked both from abroad and internally. Not to mention the collaboration between protesters and the west.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 11 2020 23:41 utc | 318

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 11 2020 18:56 utc | @232

sounds plausible. if so, why did Iran own up, knowing this? to cover up the mistake that they did not shut down the airspace?

Posted by: trint | Jan 11 2020 23:47 utc | 319

Posted by: dave | Jan 11 2020 23:38 utc | 316

Did USians notice that they are in direct war with Iran? No, it is business as usual.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 11 2020 23:49 utc | 320

This site and its comments have been an unfortunate repository of ridiculous, reflexive anti-American nonsense over the past few weeks. The speculation about the flight, and inability to accept Iranian responsibility, was one of the more silly charades.

Posted by: Daniel Lennon | Jan 11 2020 16:46 utc | 185

I would add anti-Semitic too....
In my own country can't criticise Mossad actions on the news.. it would be anti-Semitic too...

So here what came from a Forbes article that helped uncover a huge Mossad Operation targeting Cyprus Larnaka airport (their Cypriot allies)
The 2 "ex" agents identified is only probably the tip of the proverbial iceberg...

"A Multimillionaire Surveillance Dealer Steps Out Of The Shadows . . . And His $9 Million WhatsApp Hacking Van"


9.5 million smart phones it is estimated were hacked by the Mossad Stingray like tech discuised as plain ambulances alone in Larnaka air port during the time of the operation.

Posted by: Qparticle | Jan 11 2020 23:51 utc | 321

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 11 2020 23:41 utc | 318

They aren't collaborating. Trump (the deep state team) is trying to provoke a stupid "regime" response.

You would be upset if your military had shot down a plane by mistake from the main airport of the capital.

Should Iranians manage - big if as all I see are student protests and they can protest until they are blue in the face without any effect - to get a better, more hardened political system out of this, all the power to them.

Republican Guards are a state within a state, directly responsible to the religious leader, thereby cementing religious power. Iran has democratic checks and balances, but this part of the Iranian state does not.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 11 2020 23:58 utc | 322

@somebody you don't make sense. Iranian government told their own people on TV they killed dozens of Americans, that is not business as usual, they showed their people they were at war with the US with their propaganda they killed 80 US men, so your argument Iran did not close the airspace because of business as usual, does not hold.

By the way, i am against US/NATO imperialism, but not necessarily pro-Iran which is an Islamist regime which exported the concept of suicide bombings long before Isis and Al Qaeda.

Posted by: dave | Jan 11 2020 23:58 utc | 323

@ Posted by: Prometheus | Jan 11 2020 16:25 utc | 178

If, as some have claimed, the Tor is similar to the Buk, then
it's IFF would have safety measures that would prevent a lock
and launch of the missile. The operator would have had to override
these measures.

Posted by: evilempire | Jan 11 2020 23:58 utc | 324

Try this and scroll down:

Posted by: Bill Smith | Jan 12 2020 0:00 utc | 325

It is unusual for two pages in a row to be extended.

Those that do this should quickly apologize to those of us who are affected by it.

Don't do it again, please.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 12 2020 0:06 utc | 326

Posted by: dave | Jan 11 2020 23:58 utc | 323

Iranian government told their own people on TV they killed dozens of Americans

How do you know?

Posted by: somebody | Jan 12 2020 0:13 utc | 327

Here's my two cents again.

1) Iran didn't close the airspace because it was tricked by the ZioAmericans into thinking that everything was settled after the attack, that Iran was ALLOWED to do on the " EMPTY " US base, as part of a " face saving agreement " with the US. They fell for the various psyops stories floating around about Trump.

a) Hes fighting the swamp.
b) The deep state acted on its own.
c) He's under an impeachment attack.
d) He really wants to withdraw the troops.. W
so forth and so on. This is all an orchestrated dance from the beginning, and the Democrats are all part of it. " When strong, look weak. When organized, look confused ".

The Iranians were probably told that it was all a bad mistake and that Trump wants to negotiate, and would make a speech calming tensions down and offering concessions. However, when speech time came Trump did the opposite. He laid down more sanctions, slyly involved NATO into the equation, and laughed a Iran's military " incompetence " for the light damage and no US casualties. At that point Iran was trapped from doing any further retaliation, as it lost momentum and world opinion would turn on it, because the US took the high road and didn't retaliate. Next the plane scenario was readied. Even though we dont know the exact details, its not hard to image that a plane from the Ukraine would be hard to
" compromise " and modify in some way. The easiest way for this to be done would be to install a remote control system in the plane, unknown to the anyone, especially the crew. Also, installed would be a system to disable the planes communication preventing the pilots from radioing any info to the towers. At that point, the Zios steered the plane straight towards the military site, possibly even spoofing its radar signature. After all was done, we have the ready made and ready to go protests erupt. At this point the Iran has lost all sympathy from the rest of the sheeple world and everyone has forgotten about the assassinations. Next might come the " mysterious " snipers and possibly a military confrontation with the west for " humanitarian " reasons.

Iran played this one badly, it should have responded with force when it had a chance as public opinion was behind it. Instead they got played big time.

Posted by: Fog of War | Jan 12 2020 0:17 utc | 328

Boris Johnson now joining twitter regime change. Probably a 5 eye thing.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 12 2020 0:20 utc | 329

@somebody IRGC commander gave a presentation on Iranian TV where he stated they killed 80 Americans. This you can find on youtube. That is their official position they killed 80+ Americans. To me that means they wanted to show with their propaganda to their people they were at war. What else would you expect then? Not business as usual.

Posted by: dave | Jan 12 2020 0:24 utc | 330

British ambassador arrested at Tehran demonstration

Posted by: Nick | Jan 12 2020 0:28 utc | 331

So are you saying you got it wrong?

Posted by: Jack | Jan 12 2020 0:35 utc | 332

Suddenly, this site turns into a pro-regime change anti-Iranian commentariat, the usual anti-imperalist absent during the whole day, being some of them quite prolific seeming that they are here 24/7..

Raro, raro...

Not, it would not be good for the Iranian people that its´current anti-imperialist regime would be changed by another foreign implanted one which would break the Axis of Resistance and would allow transforming Iran into another US/UK puppet which then will be looted from its they have been Lybia, Iraq, Ukraine and was about to be Syria...

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 12 2020 0:40 utc | 333

Time for plan B:

‘Your courage is inspiring!’ Trump tweets in FARSI, backing Iranian protesters against Tehran govt

Right after the assassination of Soleimani, Pompeo went publicly and said Iran was "one step closer to regime change". The Pentagon (and, maybe, also the CIA) assumed Soleimani actually was very unpopular, and that, with his death, a silent majority would go to the streets to do a final blow to the regime. The opposite was true: at the funeral day, more than one million Iranians (maybe even two) went to the streets to pay homage to their national hero. Trump then backed off, and begun to talk about deescalation.

Now, after Iran admitted downing the plane, some dozen iranians went to the streets - led by the British ambassador - in order to bring down the government. Trump and Pompeo went again to the social media in order to make clear they would have the full support of the USA in case they are successful.

This episode indicates regime change is still the preferred route of the Americans in order to conquer and colonize Iran. My argument, though, is that this may be the only viable route: the USA is a capitalist economy, which means they depend on an infinite and indefinite economic growth to survive. As such, they have a doctrine of "energetic self-sufficiency", i.e. they must produce all the oil they need for their own people. Conventional warfare would mean the destruction of all the Middle Eastern oil infrastructure - which would destroy capital, therefore dropping the American profit rate. Nuclear war would be even worse, since they would destroy the oil wells it directly fell over and transform the entire region in a 200,000+ year radioactive no-go zone, where not even agriculture would be viable. The only way the USA can conquer the entire Middle East with its entire capital more or less intact is with regime change in Iran. That's also the preferred strategy of South Korea against North Korea, for the exact same reason.

Posted by: vk | Jan 12 2020 0:42 utc | 334

the logical playbook here would be to launch an operation against Americans devastating enough to illicit a response which will again solidify the people. it's not going to have a return address on it though. the blood of many will be spilled. the mullahs have nowhere to go, so what do you think they are going to do? unbelievable.

Posted by: ebolax | Jan 12 2020 0:44 utc | 335

Posted by: dave | Jan 12 2020 0:24 utc | 330

@somebody IRGC commander gave a presentation on Iranian TV where he stated they killed 80 Americans.

Sure, I realize you speak Farsi.

Posted by: Nick | Jan 12 2020 0:28 utc | 331

He was released soon after.

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 12 2020 0:40 utc | 333

Nothing will ever improve with "right or wrong my side". Criticism is not treachery.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 12 2020 0:49 utc | 336

Criminals like Raab are freaking out because of the widespread (total?) clearly unimpressed silence. No need to say anything, no need to explain anything, no need to do anything, just watch them dig harder and harder.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jan 12 2020 0:49 utc | 337

Can there be any "imminent threat" when one does not know the "who, what, when, where" of the threat?

Ahh you made the common mistake of thinking words have meaning. Just like our Orwellian surveillance state the term imminent has been redefined ala doublespeak to mean at any time possible.

Posted by: UserFriendly | Jan 12 2020 0:53 utc | 338

Funny how once the protests kicked off the Imperial trolls are busy on scial media/elsewhere.

Bevin, that was a fantastic post (@ 262 iirc) BTW. Well said, and only those wilfully blind or not directly subjected to the depravties refuse to see the truth.

Posted by: Sorghum | Jan 12 2020 0:54 utc | 339

However if one has some Cachaça or white rum available a weak mix makes everything even better :D

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jan 12 2020 0:54 utc | 340

@Nick I do not speak Farsi, but many Iranians on twitter and Syrian girl pride themselves Iran killed 80+ Americans with a video of IRGC commander holding a presentation stating they killed 80+ Americans.

Posted by: dave | Jan 12 2020 1:01 utc | 341

It was just a case of Casablanca gone wrong.

Posted by: blues | Jan 12 2020 1:02 utc | 342

vk @334

The reason why the US can not and will not withdraw from the Middle East is that it would mean the end of the Petrodollar and this would result in the complete collapse of the US/Western financial system. The petrodollar is the way in which the US gets the rest of the world to find its wars. It amounts to a great big deposit of the world's financial resources with the US in the form of treasury bonds. This debt (the US treasury bobds) can never and will never be repaid; this will become apparent when the petrodollar comes to an end.

Withdrawing from the Middle East, relinquishing control of oil, and allowing the purchase of oil in currencies other than the dollar are existential events to the US.

Iran has been seduced by Trump and the illusory promise of symbolic actions/theatre. Iran has lost the phony war because it failed to see the US is not just a unwelcome visitor that will leave the Middle East when they are made to feel uncomfortable. The US cannot leave the Middle East because it would destroy itself if it did so.

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 12 2020 1:04 utc | 343

@Posted by: somebody | Jan 12 2020 0:49 utc | 336

I will take good care of not criticizing Iran just when it is being attacked in full display by imperialist forces, the same I have done with Russia so far...Otherwise it wiuld mean collaborating with the US and its minions...

To me anybody doing this is a US paid it is the whole army of unknown, and some likeminded known, who have invaded this site today with the full compliance of the other regulars who then decided not to comment today in mass to give them the floor...

My take, all of you, newbies and absent old reliques, work in team for the US...

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 12 2020 1:07 utc | 344

PavewayIV's instructions @ 277 don't comport with my computer diagrams
though well meant I am sure. Be careful other non-techies!

Posted by: juliania | Jan 12 2020 1:08 utc | 345

This is looking to be a very complex operation the US and five eyes is pulling off. Rather than simply reacting to events after the killing of Soleimani, the killing was inteded to set up circumstances to induce Iran into firing at a civilian aircraft. The act of war in killing the Iranian military official and diplomat followed by threats against Iranian cultural sites. With Iran air dfences on high alert, all it required was to cut air defence coms and turn an aircraft at the same time. Once that is aclomplashed, making Iran look incompetent in the eyes of the world it is straight into the pre-organised regime change operation.
I hope Russia and China will be giving Iran a bit of an assist in this because they are facing a very dangerous moment. Anything can happen now that US thinks it has Iran on the backfoot. And I think Iran is on the backfoot at the moment. What has happened has shocked them. Zarif and others, saying the plane definitely was not shot down and then realising they were wrong.
Very dangerous period for Iran as US will now press its attack harder, and perhaps in more unexpected ways. Hopefully the crew that fired will not be punished because of this. If they are, air defense crew will be hesitant to make decisions anytime their coms are cut.
The IRGC said they had asked for all flights to be grounded but the request was not acted on. This is the area hopefully the Iranian investigation will focus on.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2020 1:10 utc | 346

@ somebody 327

evening of Iranian strikes on U.S. bases in Iraq, the Brits' reported 30 killed citing local reports. then took the article down.

Russia's Tass reported 80 first citing Reuters which cited local reports, then the article was later changed to cite Tasnim News Agency.
80 people dead in Iran's missile attack on US bases in Iraq — Tasnim News Agency

As a result of a missile strike 104 infrastructure facilities at US military bases were destroyed

TASS, January 8. 80 people were killed in Iran’s missile attack on US bases in Iraq, Tasnim agency reported citing a source in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Earlier, CNN said citing sources that the missiles launched by the Iranian side hit the part of the Ain al-Asad air base in Iraq were no American troops were stationed.

In war, truth gets trampled.

Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 12 2020 1:10 utc | 347

It's very odd. One doesn't think of those who 'make mistakes' (human error) as culprits. Do Iranians think that way? Do Muslims think that way?

Posted by: Arby | Jan 12 2020 1:14 utc | 348

Posted by: vk | Jan 12 2020 0:42 utc | 334

Well, Trump is definitively not doing diplomacy.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 12 2020 1:18 utc | 349

US had some forwarning, but unless all yanks were evacuated from the site or cowering in underground bunkers, their would have been some deaths and injuries. Trump standing down after the strike was very odd. A country directly and publicly launches presision missiles on a US base and the US says all is good... bullshit.
The US covert action against Iran was planned long before the Iranian strike on the US bases.
Because the action could not be publicaly acknowlaged, Trump had to say all was good and US was standing down.
The Soleimani hit, the US threats, the Iranian retaliation all set the correct atmosphere for the US covert action to succede.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2020 1:24 utc | 350

Posted by: A User | Jan 11 2020 9:06 utc | 70

Do you have a link for the Press TV documentary. I have searched and not finding it.

Posted by: Deb | Jan 12 2020 1:28 utc | 351

@ Sasha who thinks that some MoA bar regulars are complicit because of our absence.

Wrong. Many old timers only comment here occasionally because of the troll factor that is
way more visible in these latest threads about the Ukraine plane downing in Iran.

How much textual white noise are you willing to wade through? And spew out in support of
your values in a bar seeded with paid empire perverts? YMMV

I just left a comment on the latest Iraq thread that hasn't had its page margins repeatedly blown
out by anti-social commenters that are likely oblivious or paid for such social perfidy

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 12 2020 1:35 utc | 352

VK "Right after the assassination of Soleimani, Pompeo went publicly and said Iran was "one step closer to regime change""

The Assassination was the first step. Trump threats against Iran cultural sites the second step. Iran retaliation against the US bases the third step. Downing the civilian aircraft step four. And guess what... regime change operation kicks into gear.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2020 1:38 utc | 353

But for Trump's murder of Soleimani, the Iranians would not have been so jumpy.
Trump's murder of Soleimani, was a significant factor in making the Iranians jumpy.
These deaths go on Trump's death count card along with all the dead in Syria.

Posted by: stevelaudig | Jan 12 2020 1:43 utc | 354

…and when those who are "ideologically pure" or petty no matter what side or what they claim to be win and entrench their victory they, among the survivors, kill their own kind first because they still can't understand never mind fear those people who don't fight in the same way they do.

Learn from the tragic misfortune of others, learn from the mistakes of those both in and out of power who are always busy shouting at everyone right up in their face. In the end it never works. Appreciate how flexibility, weakness, and even guilt, can be a strength like the Iranians just did to perfection.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Jan 12 2020 1:46 utc | 355


Prometheus - Thank you for your information. I previously thought the transponder signal would identify the plane as a civilian aircraft but one question remains for me: even without IFF would the airtraffic control not (verify the identity)and be in contact with the pilot when the course is changed? Is there no coordination between civlian and military air-control? (especially in such a tense situation)

Thanks for your kind words. I do not know how military air traffic control and civilian air traffic control interact during war time. During peace time, certain airspace is designated military only. Civilian Air Traffic Control directs commercial pilots to stay out of these designated airspaces. Civilian aircraft stay out of these designated airspaces unless they want to get shot down.

Posted by: Prometheus | Jan 12 2020 1:56 utc | 356

Couple of dumbass posters who don't know how to embed links.

Then the response, "It's fine on my end."

Smh that b will never be able to fix that. Ruins readability.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Jan 12 2020 1:58 utc | 357

Posted by: Sasha | Jan 12 2020 1:07 utc | 343

Most of us are critizising our own government. If we all did this (and government improved) the world might become a better place.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2020 1:38 utc | 352

Yep. It is beyond ridiculous. 1. You starve people with sanctions 2. You don't let them or their family into your country. 3. You call their general terrorist and kill him. 4. You threaten them with death and destruction 5. You assemble your troops and test their defenses 6. You talk down to them about 'someone having made a mistake' 7. You don't accept the apology. 8. You tell them you are with them should they overthrow their government.

I guess this happens when people are paid for doing something they don't believe in.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 12 2020 2:02 utc | 358

vk @334

My comment @342 should have read: "The petrodollar is the way in which the US gets the rest of the world to fund its wars,"


Your comment about capitalist accumulation doesn't hold (as a motivator for the US) when we have a capitalist monopolist situation. Rate of profit is not about growth (of real goods); it is about reducing competition and scarcity. When you are the monopolist you can charge what you like but profit becomes meaningless - the monopolist power comes from the control of resources - the monopolistic capitalist becomes a ruler/monarch. You no longer need ever-increasing customers so you can dispense with them if you so chose (by reducing the population). One bottle of water is far more valuable and a lot less trouble to produce that 100 millions bottles of water. There is no point in AI to provide for the needs of "the many"; AI becomes a means to dispense with "the many" altogether.

Economic growth is more about financialising goods and services that were previously free or are/were social goods. There is no real growth; just taxing the living.

So, in my view, the only restraint on destroying Iran is capability, cost and the risk of retaliation (not just from Iran) - not the destruction of Iran's capital - better for Iran's capital to be destroyed than for Iran to be independent or a competitor.

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 12 2020 2:10 utc | 359

@ 301 qparticle.. i don't exactly know what that means.. thanks..

@ 357 somebody.. it is all about the money and selling your soul to the usa-israel devil.. most join in and think the trade off is fine..

for anyone other then peter au who already reads smoothie - his post that some might want to read here..

I Use Krylov's Fables All The Time. (Friday's Rant).

Posted by: james | Jan 12 2020 2:12 utc | 360

@343 Sasha
MoA has a stable of competent thinkers so I don't fret so much when an army of hasbara trolls appears. Rather than feed the trolls by engaging with them, sometimes it is better just to observe. Most trolls on this site are NeoCons, and NeoCons are the epitome of incompetence. They have embraced so many lies in their world view that they don't know their asses from a hole in the ground. I feel sometimes it is best to let them dig their own graves, intellectually speaking.

One type of trolling I do think is fairly effective is the "We are bad, they are bad, everybody's bad, oh well, there is nothing we can do" type trolling. I have seen it paralyze folks when action is required.

I don't comment here often because frankly there are far better writers making the same points I'd like to make, but more coherently. My time and energy is best served, I believe, on Facebook and other social media or communicating in person to friends and family...getting folks who have never heard of MoA to tune in.

I also share Psychohistorians perspective that sometimes it is best just to tune out, not waste my time getting frustrated with the bad signal/noise ratio and realize when a hoard of trolls show up spouting the same thing it is because MoA and its readership is on to some truth they find threatening. A hoard of trolls signifies that the Outlaw Empire has had a nerve struck.

Posted by: Jason | Jan 12 2020 2:15 utc | 361

Peter AU1 | Jan 11 2020 22:27 utc | 294

The Flight Radar 24 data did stop when the ADS-B transmission ended. That was after the a missile exploded next the aircraft.

Or are you saying that the someone turned off the ADS-B transmitter before the missile was launched?

Posted by: Bill Smith | Jan 12 2020 2:22 utc | 362

Posted by: dave | Jan 12 2020 1:01 utc | 340

A semi-official (whatever that means) Iranian newspaper said that the strikes in Iraq killed 80 Americans. The Iranian Foreign Office tweeted out that they had no information on any American casualties.

Posted by: Bill Smith | Jan 12 2020 2:28 utc | 363

Why is anybody still on Facebook?

Posted by: lysias | Jan 12 2020 3:04 utc | 364

Yeah, an airliner shootdown because the (tired, stressed, undertrained) SAM operators fucked up. Fuckups are inherent to military operations in wartime, peacetime often enough too, and the time of this accident was both combined, and that certainly made it likelier to happen, too, dammit.

I am pleased to see Iran assume responsibility, promptly enough I reckon, for the shootdown. I trust it will be writing suitable sized checks to the heirs, and one to the Ukrainian airline too. About all that can be done; something that needs doing for everyone's sake.

Iran's assuming responsibility for its shootdown of a civilian airliner by accident contrasts to ours'.* The USA still is dodging its responsibility for the 1980 Itavia DC-9 shootdown. Most nobody in the USA knows about that incident, but I am told it remains an ongoing sore/issue in Italy/Italian politics. My piece from years ago is here: . Since writing this, I wrote Mr. Carter via the Carter Library and via his church in Plains, GA, but never heard back. Unpleasant conclusions about Mr. Carter's integrity must be drawn from this. And similar conclusions about the USA's, and its people's.

My condolences to the families.

Daniel N. White

*Yeah, and the French Navy and nation, too. Apparently back in '68 the French Navy inadvertently shot down an Air France Caravelle over the Med. Immediate hiding of information and physical evidence started and continues to this day. [Did you think I'd pass up this opportunity to kick the French?]

Posted by: Daniel N. White | Jan 12 2020 3:37 utc | 365

Learn from the tragic misfortune of others, learn from the mistakes of those both in and out of power who are always busy shouting at everyone right up in their face. In the end it never works. Appreciate how flexibility, weakness, and even guilt, can be a strength like the Iranians just did to perfection.
Sunny Runny Burger | Jan 12 2020 1:46 utc | 354

How well and aptly said...
Humble and contrite, are two words lacking in U.S. vocabulary or doctrine.
The certainty of the future lessons will be laid at the hegemons feet; what's far from certain, is whether or not learning is still possible.

Posted by: V | Jan 12 2020 3:39 utc | 366

it was annoying to hear basic "i get my news from facebook" types immediately jump to this conclusion but even worse that they (accidentally) turned out to be correct. in any case, it's another example of uninvolved third parties being punished for the conflict between two others. it reminds me of both mh17 and the (involved but not hostile) russian surveillance plane shot down when the cowards of the IAF used it for cover over syria.

or, as a character on a popular zombie show once said, "i may have killed those guys...but you got them killed."

Posted by: the pair | Jan 12 2020 3:50 utc | 367

@97/"ghost sip"

pretty sure there were no yanks on the plane. mostly iranians, canadians and ukrainians.

Posted by: the pair | Jan 12 2020 3:55 utc | 368

IRGC Commander uses a graphic to show where PS732 was struck by a missile. shows PS732's flight path - presumably using all data to the point where the data was interrupted by some event on board.

When I compare these, it appears that the IRGC estimate of where the missile hit is WELL AFTER transmission of flight data has ended.

Also, logically, a plane climbing a short distance from an airport should not resemble a drone. Might an operator assume a drone if the plane were DESCENDING?

Thus, there's the possibility of a scenario where a bomb under the cockpit causes the plane to start descending and the IRGC fire a missile as a because the plane's descent causes the operator to surmise that it is a drone instead of a plane.

Might there have been a bomb AND missile hit?

Note: This possibility arises only because of what seems to be a mismatch in the data from the airplane and the IRGC's estimate of where the plane was hit. Perhaps IRGC's graphic is incorrect?

<> <> <> <> <> <>

Aside: AFAICT the plane wasn't turning back to the airport! It was on a normal flight path which turned slightly but that turning was apparently exacerbated after the plane was hit. That increased turning made it SEEM like it was turning back to the airport.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 12 2020 4:21 utc | 369

Death of Jean Charles de Menezes <--- Wikipedia

A Brazilian citizen, working in London as an electrician, was gunned down by British police in 2005 in a style more reminiscent of USA rather than Britain, with 11 hollow point bullets shot and 7 pumped into his body AFTER he was immobilized. It was in the aftermath of a suicide bombing in the London subway and an attempt for another one, of course the entire police department was very frantic. The list of errors of police is pretty long, the shooting was not a split-second encounter but a culmination of surveilance that was joined by an increasing number of police.

The mental state of command and people on the ground was comparable. The annihilated subject was tracked but improperly identified. The identification error was quite glaring. A similar case of seemingly suspicious behavior that was easy to explain (Menezes left a bus and approach an entrance of a subway station, but rather than entering, he took another bus and entered a different station. Rather bizarre if you did not know that the first station was closed.

Then special situations in Iran. Threat of an attack on 52 targets. The use of stealth technology, so the defenders are not surprised of objects appearing out of nowhere (actually, not out of nowhere, like Menezes did not switch subway stations without an innocent reason, something that less frantic command could figure out). Now, London authorities could close the subways until the hunt for the perpetrators of the failed bombing was completed, like Iran could close air traffic until the crisis was over. You can observe obvious reasons to avoid that.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 12 2020 4:26 utc | 370

Also, if there was an incident on the plane that stopped the transponder, then the IRGC missile operator would not have known that the plane was a commercial airliner, right?

He would see a unknown object, descending toward him with no transponder that identifies it as a commercial airliner.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 12 2020 4:32 utc | 371

@Posted by: evilempire | Jan 11 2020 23:58 utc | 324

If, as some have claimed, the Tor is similar to the Buk, then
it's IFF would have safety measures that would prevent a lock
and launch of the missile. The operator would have had to override
these measures.

Since no commercial airliners, including Ukraine Air do not have IFFs on board, the Buk IFF interrogator would have gotten no reply from the Ukraine Air transponder, which identifies the Ukraine Air aircraft as a foe, and shot it down.

Remember how an IFF interrogator works:

No reply - you are a foe and get shot down. Note that civilian aircraft transponder CAN NOT reply to IFF interrogations.

Posted by: Prometheus | Jan 12 2020 4:53 utc | 372

NYT posted editorial by Sen. Tom Cotton (nincompoop, Arkansas) lauding the murder of Suleimani. This is one of the readers' comments:

Nova ScotiaJan. 10
Times Pick
I don't understand how the USA can kill a military leader of a country we are not at war with in a third country no less and claim it was legal. The resulting high-pressure in the aftermath has left 63 Canadian citizens dead. Yes, at the hands of an Iranian missile - but many of those dead were dual Iranian Canadians. The blood is not just on Iran's hands, it is on the USA and on trump.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 12 2020 5:02 utc | 373

There's a simpler explanation for the mismatch between where data transmission from the plane stopped and where IRGC says the plane was hit by a missile.

Instead of a bomb on board, it could simply be that data transmission ends when jamming begins as E Mo Scél @259, @269, and @284 explains.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 12 2020 5:03 utc | 374

Many of you still seemed perplexed as to why Iran allowed commercial flights to go on during such a potentially tense time. Let me make it clear for everyone, they were tricked by the ZioAmericans. Basically, the Iranians were allowed to get their " face saving attack " on the Americans while thinking this would be the end of the whole episode. Little did they suspect that the US had prepared the Ukrainian plane scenario followed by instantaneous protests. The Iranians walked into a trap.

- Swiss Back Channel Helped Defuse U.S.-Iran Crisis -
The U.S. sent an encrypted fax via the Swiss Embassy in Tehran urging Iran not to escalate, followed by a flurry of back and forth messages -

Posted by: Fog of War | Jan 12 2020 5:08 utc | 375

Cynica @251:

it was initially reported that Trump would make a statement about the Iran attack around 8:45 PM EST - at about the same time that UIA Flight 752 was originally scheduled to take off.

And now that scheduled statement has been memory-holed. Reporters haven't asked WHY Trump canceled and I've had difficulty finding any info about it as I noted here.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 12 2020 5:13 utc | 376

@Vasco da Gama
Regarding the FAA NOTAMS restricting airspace a list is provided here. It is not accurate to claim only Tehran was restricted:

Exactly. And if the Ukraine Civil Aviation Authority had followed the FAA lead and grounded its aircraft in Iran, the Ukraine Air aircraft would not have gotten shot down.

The Ukraine Civil Aviation Authority didn't exactly perform well either.

Posted by: CognitiveDissonance | Jan 12 2020 5:13 utc | 377

Fog of War @374: The Iranians walked into a trap.

That seems very possible. And, if so, the people on PS732 were sacrificed for the ambitions of AZ Empire asshats.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 12 2020 5:21 utc | 378

@Fog Of War
Many of you still seemed perplexed as to why Iran allowed commercial flights to go on during such a potentially tense time. Let me make it clear for everyone, they were tricked by the ZioAmericans.

A more plausible reason is here. The relevant except follows:

“The first thing a country should do in case of escalation of the military conflict is to close the sky for civilian flights,” said retired Ukrainian Gen. Ihor Romanenko, a military analyst. “But this entails serious financial losses, fines and forfeits, therefore a cynical approach prevailed in Iran.”

Posted by: CognitiveDissonance | Jan 12 2020 5:25 utc | 379

Jackrabbit 368 "Aside: AFAICT the plane wasn't turning back to the airport! It was on a normal flight path which turned slightly but that turning was apparently exacerbated after the plane was hit. That increased turning made it SEEM like it was turning back to the airport."

From the Ukraine description of the damage, the pilots would be unlikely to have any control over the plane even if they were not dead or incapacitated. From my understanding the aircraft was on its way back to the airport when it crashed.
Iran government was intitaly very sure the aircraft came down due to a tehnical problem which makes me think the pilots radioed in that they had a problem before they were hit. This is why I think the plane was hit after the turn back to the airport.
if they turn back to the the airport brought the plane to where it was facing the military site during the turn this may have caused the airdefence crew to fire. Already on high alert, their coms down and perhaps the planes transponder stops transmitting whould be more than enough suspition to down the aircraft.
A preplanned operation that cut air defence coms and disabled the aircraft (as in cut one engine plus transponder) at the same time.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2020 5:52 utc | 380

In b's previous piece on the aircraft, b had this to say "The airplane climbed out of Tehran airport in a rather straight line. The teams that man the Tor systems around Tehran must be used to the regular radar track of civil planes coming out of Tehran airport. That makes an accidental launch somewhat unlikely."

This is still very relevent. Something about that flight was different causing the Tor crew to fire. A sudden turn back to the airport along with trasponder transmissions stopping and air defence comms down would cause this.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2020 6:03 utc | 381

The Iranian apologia is a masterclass in grace..
Unfortunately the courage to admit responsibility is not understood as a civilised response, but that is what one expects from barbarians.
Iran has admitted that it shot down the plane. Perhaps that was the intention of this tragedy.
Do you remember how it was in Tehran in the election year of 2008?
Luce Ducet of the BBC was on the streets spruiking for the Iranian "colour revolution". But Amadenijad won regardless.
They are trying it again but it won't work. Never does.
However there will be chaos and that has proven to be tremendously profitable.

Posted by: Australian lady | Jan 12 2020 7:23 utc | 382

DontBelieveEitherPr.@214 ( and other recent trolls)

Please do us a favor by helping with the following issues:

(1) list all countries invaded by the US compared to Iran. Each instance of an invasion of a given country is required as some countries were invaded several times;

(2) In the last 200 years list all countries overthrown by a coup by the US and its proxy's compared to Iran;

After failing in this simple task go back commenting somewhere else...

Posted by: Krollchem | Jan 12 2020 7:26 utc | 383

There are still a couple of things that bother me about this.

1.) is that for those of you who are saying it would be hard to distinguish an incoming enemy plane from a commercial airliner such as Pometheus @ 178 who said:

6) A RADAR signature CANNOT distinguish a commercial airline aircraft from a military aircraft - especially since some military aircraft use 737 airframes.

would that also apply to a cruise missile? That is, would it also be difficult to distinguish between a commercial airliner and a cruise missile? Because, from what I've seen, that's the claim that's being made -- that the SAM operator responsible for launching the missile against the airliner was on high alert due to warnings of possible cruise missile launches against Iran and that he mistook the target for a cruise missile -- or at least suspected that it was -- which, according to the narrative, is why he only had a 10-second window within which to make the decision to launch and why when there were "communication problems" that prevented him from getting a hold of his superiors, he had to basically flip a coin -- and unfortunately made the wrong choice. Now, I don't know if this narrative is still current, because what I read did say this account was an "early assessment", but if it is, if it's still what they're saying -- is it plausible? is what I'm asking. Or would this represent a hole in their narrative? Maybe someone on here could clarify this for me? Possibly Prometheus?

The other thing that bugs me, is who took the footage of the plane actually being hit? How did he know to train his camera in that direction at that particular place and time? Is it somebody who just hangs around and films planes that happen to be passing by? Or is it some camera that is maybe in a fixed position, like a security camera, that just happened to pick this up? (and actually, I have to say, it doesn't look like security camera footage to me) Or what? Because it is conceivable that this could indicate foreknowledge... which, of course, would indicate a planned event as opposed to an accident. Maybe someone could shed light on this for me as well?

But because of my lingering doubts I have also entertained the possibility raised by paul @ 188 that the Iranians may be lying about this in order to prevent (what would be certain) further escalation. What better way to defuse the situation than by claiming it was all just an unfortunate accident? (I guess what I have in mind is that it could have conceivably been an MEK, CIA, Mossad operation timed to eclipse the Soleimani and al-Muhandis murder stories and also further their campaign of escalation against Iran.)

Of course, I'm not maintaining that it's the case, necessarily. But the possibility did cross my mind even before I came across paul @ 188's comment. And there are some obvious problems with this narrative as well... which I probably don't need to go into here. But whatever the case may be, I'd still like an answer to the misgivings I raised above... if someone could shed light on them, I'd appreciate it.

Posted by: Steve M | Jan 12 2020 7:47 utc | 384

Speculation: The cases with planes turned into weapons all seem to be Boeings and not Airbuses if I am not mistaken, 4 Boeings @ 911 plus this one (PS752). You could argue that MH370 (vanished) and MH17 (altered flight path) possibly also fall into this category, they were Boeing planes. So a guess is that the Boeing Uninterruptible Auto Pilot (BUAP) plays a role in some or all of these cases, and possibly other ones as well.

If BUAP was used to disable the PS752 pilots + all communication and then switch off one engine during full throttle take-off, what does that do to the flight path? Perhaps an interesting flight simulator exercise, but it would obviously turn. As others have pointed out, a civilian plane does not have IFF and will therefore be identified as hostile when it suddenly appears in front of a Tor-M1 battery because it was made to turn.

A detailed time-line would be useful, i.e. times for take-off, communication loss, when the plane started turning, missile launch, missile hit, final crash. It could possibly narrow the field of possibilities.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 12 2020 7:51 utc | 385

@somebody, 79

“I don't think it is beyond the US to have used the opportunity to test Iranian radars.”

Remember the Soviet downing of Flight KAL 007 back in September ’83. The fear of WW3 then was just as real as what we experienced last week. The US purposefully confused KAL 007's identity by flying RC-135 reconnaissance flights near it before its reaching Soviet airspace (both are Boeing, easy to mistake for each other). Some have mentioned that the pilot was Korean CIA. Either way the US got invaluable data on Soviet air defenses by its incursion near Vladivostok, and the USSR was attacked by the capitalist media afterward just as Iran is now.

Whether via hacking or sabotage of the plane, transponder or IFF (e.g., as Peter AU1 outlines @232) or something else entirely, this kind of action or outright weaponization of Ukrainian flight PS 752 is a possibility here as well.

ps—massive thanks to bevin for very powerful comments @30 and @242.

Posted by: Vintage Red | Jan 12 2020 8:08 utc | 386

juliania@344 - How so, juliania? Which version of Chrome are you using? Did you find the underlined link and highlight it in the regular window? Couldn't you start the split-window DevTools with Inspect? Could you not see the link you highlighted in both panes of the screen? Couldn't you use the Delete Element choice on the right side pane when you right-clicked the already-selected text on that side?

The effect should be immediate on the normal view in the left pane. Deleting the wrong link won't hurt anything, it just won't fix the wide page.

In any case, simply closing the DevTools pane and reloading the page will restore it to its original version. Nothing should break and no other tabs are affected.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 12 2020 8:27 utc | 387

@ Norwegian | Jan 12 2020 7:51 utc | 382

Indeed it is speculation but that sometimes has its place to help break up the mass-programming going on.

Remote drone control and flight by instruments are very close in technologies and one could easily imagine
the inbuilt functions and back-doors provided in modern aircraft -- especially Boeing variants for the obvious reasons.
Full-spectrum dominance (control when needed) has a meaning.

The IT technology for running total virtual computing systems were in commercial use in the 1970s.
[e.g. see]
Today's modern commercial aircraft are almost entirely software driven and therefore simply another virtual
machine. Flight simulators clearly operate on this principle.

I would suggest that MH370 night flight was more likely the class case study with a tribe of top Chinese technologists being
re-routed on a flight out of Malaysia to "Paradise Island" (Diego Garcia) before the plane was either ditched into the Indian
Ocean or re-cycled as a convenient relabeled option etc. In fact, from memory there were several interesting scenarios around
MH17 that included cadavers and other features. I'm not sure where these ended up in the wash.

The point being that unless there is something out the window in the real world to verify against (like position of sun etc)
then I'm sure for military purposes a large airliner could be totally enclosed in a virtual world simulation from the crew and
passenger perspective -- and quite possibly also satellite tracking for engine monitoring by suppliers.

Before MH370 and MH17 Malaysia was being rather difficult and independent (and critical of the Occupation of Palestine).
Apart from the geopolitical impacts, just the subsequent commercial impact on Malaysian Airlines brought a rather
sudden silence, compliance and silence from the Malaysian quarter. And here we are again, perhaps, simply a new cast of
actors as victims etc.

Posted by: imo | Jan 12 2020 8:38 utc | 388

Tulsi Gabbard:

When the bullets start flying and the bombs start dropping, terrible things can happen that no one has planned for. This is one of the great tragedies of war. Unintended consequences and so-called "collateral damage."


Posted by: Mao | Jan 12 2020 8:46 utc | 389

Donald J. Trump: "To the brave, long-suffering people of Iran: I've stood with you since the beginning of my Presidency, and my Administration will continue to stand with you. We are following your protests closely, and are inspired by your courage."

Is it possible to imagine that such a trump will write to the brave people of France:


Posted by: John Doe | Jan 12 2020 9:07 utc | 390

It is correct that the FAA ban relates to the region and not just Tehran (FIR Tehran). I had checked that after my comment. It is still pointing to the fact that, as confirmed by statements by Iran, that there was a lot of movement in the airspace around Iran and possibly in Iran, and that civilian planes could be affected by misidentification - just the way it happened, but with almost 150 Iranians on board of the plane (some with dual citizenships). In my view, it is not feasible to assume the US did not respond to the Iranian strikes. The US hit hard and fast, just as Trump had said. The US outmaneuvered Iran from an angle they were not prepared for, right inside Iran, right in Tehran. The US come out of this clean. The lack of an overt response to the Iranian strikes can't be emphasized enough; same goes for the involvement of the CIA with Pompeo and Haspel.

Posted by: E Mo Scel | Jan 12 2020 9:11 utc | 391

ADKC #342

Iran has been seduced by Trump and the illusory promise of symbolic actions/theatre. Iran has lost the phony war because it failed to see the US is not just a unwelcome visitor that will leave the Middle East when they are made to feel uncomfortable. The US cannot leave the Middle East because it would destroy itself if it did so.

I don't agree with your first proposition. I don't even think it is possible for Iran to have any illusions as to what they are up against militarily or the idiocy and malevolence of the USA. They are also aware of the near term chance to fracture the continuity of Trump as President and hope for a better or vaguely smarter person. If there is symbolism, then the Iranians made it clear 'this is a slap in the face'. That means an initial gesture of displeasure or challenge to a duel perhaps. It is not the revenge the Iranians have promised to extract from the occupying forces of the five eyes plus NATO plus Saudi sponsored ISIS. I anticipate there will soon be stage two of the vengeance extraction.

The USA will leave the Middle East either in tatters or with a smart withdrawal. The battlefield has just enlarged and entered new and murderous dimensions (thanks mainly to the assassination strategy of the USA) much as it did in Vietnam after the French were slaughtered at Dien Bien Phu. This will take some time to play out and there may be no victor but there will be a withdrawal of the USA.

You say the USA cannot withdraw due to its dependence on petrodollar cover of its currency. I say it has very little choice. The entire Shia and even perhaps some mighty angry Sunni are keen to kick the USA cadaver about the public square.

Osama Bin Laden was Sunni!! The forces of the USA are diustributed throughout the Sunni lands at their invitation ;- the USA occupies Sunni holy lands: this from NEO-

As of now, the US has 5,000 troops in the UAE; 7,000 in Bahrain; above 13,000 in Kuwait; 3,00o in Jordan; 3,000 in Saudi Arabia; 10,000 in Qatar; 5,000 in Iraq; around 1,000 in Syria—all of course well within the range of Iranian missiles, making them an extremely attractive targets for the Iranian forces.

Only in Iraq, about 5,000 US troops could very well be sitting ducks if the Popular Mobilisation Forces were to launch a war of attrition. If history is any guide to future, it might be unrealistic to completely rule out a replay of the 1983 Beirut barracks bombings

The USA can huff and puff as much as it likes but I suspect they will be displeased and shaken shitless if a couple of the vessels docked in Bahrain only a few kilometers from Iran suddenly are sitting on the seabed.

What is revenge ADKC? What if the new leader of Oman is persuaded to end the invasion of Yemen? This could leave the USA badly shaken. There is no certainty that the long war of revenge will produce good results for Iran but any other course would be craven surrender to both the USA and its Sunni running dogs and the Israeli paper tiger.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 12 2020 9:14 utc | 392

The Prime Suspect in Ukrainian PS752 Shootdown: Israel’s Unit 8200

Posted by: John Doe | Jan 12 2020 9:20 utc | 393

How can you mistake a 737 for a cruise missile with and F band 3D doppler radar. The 737 has the signature of a friggin freight Train!

Posted by: Wtf | Jan 12 2020 9:23 utc | 394

A shadowy tech firm with deep ties to Israeli intelligence and newly inked contracts to protect Pentagon computers is partnering with Lockheed Martin to gain unprecedented access to the heart of America’s democracy.

Posted by: John Doe | Jan 12 2020 9:32 utc | 395

Wtf 391
"Navy continues buying radar-spoofing electronic warfare (EW) equipment from Mercury Systems.
U.S. Navy airborne electronic warfare (EW) experts are continuing their support of radar-spoofing electronic warfare (EW)
technology from Mercury Systems Inc. that can fool enemy radar systems with false and deceptively moving targets."

At the time, Iran had many reports of incoming cruise missiles. By the sounds, US was hitting Iran with radar spoofing EW systems.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2020 9:37 utc | 396

Norwegian |

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2020 9:44 utc | 397

Bevin #242

Thank you, a refreshing reminder. So I reiterate my point: Iran and the Shia Hezbollah and many others will not back down. Make America Go Away.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 12 2020 9:51 utc | 398


There is the possibility of the uninterruptible auto pilot. It does exist but information on if
it is installed in many Boeing planes is vague. Others here have mentioned the number of incidents
Boeing aircraft have been involved in. I had thought of MH17 and MH370 but there is also 9 11 and
the Korean flight into soviet airspace. Many of the boeing aircraft are mechanical with hydraulic
assist controls so it would require something like the uninterruptible auto pilot to completely
take over the plane from the ground.
The Ukrainian NG has the mechanical controls, but its engines are computer controlled as are some other
functions in the aircraft plus I believe the aircraft has an automated data link back to boeing. This may
well have been sufficient for Boeing to turn of the Transponder and cut an engine so the plane would turn
towards the military site. This would be more than sufficient to ensure the downing of the aircraft under
the circumstances.
With an engine down the pilot would have immediately notified air traffic control and say he was turning back.
This would also explain why the Iranian government were initially certain the crash was due to technical issues.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 12 2020 10:02 utc | 399

Posted by: E Mo Scel | Jan 12 2020 9:11 utc | 388

In my view, it is not feasible to assume the US did not respond to the Iranian strikes. The US hit hard and fast, just as Trump had said.

This is my sneaking suspicion. The way the news of this night were reported were 1. Iranian strike 2. Plane downed 3. 4.9 earthquake near Bushehr.

Epoch times - Falun Gong - even makes more of a connection

Israel wants the US to take out any Iranian nuclear programme. The escalation needed for such a hit was the only way to do that for Trump. Congress would never approve.

My guess is that Bushehr strikes failed to make an impression whatever they were intended to hit, so it is back to regime change.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 12 2020 10:35 utc | 400

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