Iranian Protesters Demand Ayatollah Khamenei Resign After Admitting Mistake in Shooting Down Passenger Plane
The streets of Tehran were filled with outraged Iranians demanding the resignation of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei after news that Iran shot down the Ukrainian passenger plane by mistake. Vigils were held near Amir Kabir University, but the crowd became angry quickly.
The plane carrying 176 people was shot down after Iran launched missiles on Iraq military bases used to house U.S. troops. Some experts questioned why officials did not close off the airspace to civil aviation. There were 10 flights departing from the Tehran airport midnight through the departure of the Ukrainian airline, according to FlightRadar24.
For three days, Iran officials denied shooting down the jetliner, and later, bulldozers were seen clearing up debris from the crash site in what appeared to be an effort to cover up what happened.
Iran’s authorities were told on Wednesday about the strike on the plane by Revolutionary Guards aerospace commander Brig-Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, which raises questions why Iran didn’t admit to the mistake earlier.
In a press conference, Hajizadeh said, “I take full responsibility and I will obey whatever decision is taken. When I found out what had happened, I wanted to die. I said, I would rather die rather than be a witness to such an incident.”
Videos posted to social media show protesters in front of Tehran’s Amir Kabir University chanting, “Commander-in-chief (Khamenei) resign, resign.” Protesters are heard in other videos shouting “Shame on you Khamenei, leave the country,” “death to the liars,” and “shame on the Revolutionary Guards, let the country go.”
#WATCH: A group of protesters demand #Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei step down on Saturday after Tehran said that its military had mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian plane, killing all 176 people on board #FlightPS752 #UkranianPlaneCrashhttps://t.co/pymvNJ07ot pic.twitter.com/G4sCoIrzrH— Arab News (@arabnews) January 11, 2020
Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad tweeted a video of the protests and wrote, “Protests erupt against the Revolutionary Guards at Amir-Kabir University in Tehran due to authorities’ incompetence and negligence after the recent plane crash that killed more than 176 people. Some people had claimed Iranians were united after #Soleimani’s death. Think again.”
Protests erupt against the Revolutionary Guards at Amir-Kabir University in Tehran due to authorities' incompetence and negligence after the recent plane crash that killed more than 176 people.— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) January 11, 2020
Some people had claimed Iranians were united after #Soleimani's death. Think again. pic.twitter.com/ILacRPomZv
Sharif university is a well known university in the world, 14 top genius grad. students of this university were in Ukraine Airplabe. Ppl are gathered in front of sharif university and chanting “ our enemy is here, they( regime) telling us lie by saying it is America.” 1.11.2020 https://t.co/a1rdMvgmQE— Sara (@saraghavamian) January 11, 2020
Breaking:— Alireza Azami (@Alireza__Azami) January 11, 2020
People in #Iran have just begun the protest against de regime.
Students of Amirkabir university in Tehran chant slogans against the supreme leader!#IranProtests#IranPlaneCrash pic.twitter.com/rzr7w6Oaju
Breaking news: Saturday afternoon students of Amirkabir University in #Tehran held anti-regime gathering in protest to downing of Ukrainian plane by IRGC. Protesters chanted “Down with dictator,”— Shahin Gobadi (@gobadi) January 11, 2020
“shame on IRGC, let the country go” #ukraineplanecrash #Iran via #MEK network pic.twitter.com/VfTfJkUYgK
Human Rights in Iran posted a video showing regime forces firing on the protesters.
“A few minutes ago, a number of people were shot down after the repressive forces fired. January 7 - Tehran Today Tehran people respond to news of Iranian Revolutionary Guards firing Iranian-Ukrainian aircraft #پرواز۷۵۲ front side #دانشگاه_امیرکبیر And #دانشگاه_شریف They gathered. #اعتراضات_سراسری”
#BreakingNews: January 11 Tehran, the regime security forces opened fire to the crowd of protesters who had gathered in response to the admission of shooting down the Ukrainian plane in Iran.#IranProtests #HearTheVoiceOfIranians https://t.co/aN1Ss4XpyB— Human Rights In Iran (@ir_humanrights) January 11, 2020