Iran is facing mounting criticism at home and abroad after admitting to "unintentionally" downing a Ukrainian passenger jet this week, killing all 176 people on board, having initially denied responsibility.
The plane was shot down early Wednesday in the capital Tehran, just hours after Iran launched a missile attack on U.S. bases in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of top general Qassem Soleimani, Independent recalls.
Despite the belated
admission of guilt by Iranian authorities, many in Iran have expressed anger at
the country's leadership for days of denial and obfuscation, at a time when the
families of the victims were searching for answers.
The attempted cover-up appears to have all but extinguished a moment of national unity that came in the wake of the U.S. killing of Soleimani, the 62-year-old leader of Iran's Quds Force who many viewed as a national hero.
In Twitter messages, angry Iranians condemned the government for the attempted cover-up, and video clips on social media showed a large protest at a university in Tehran, where students chanted "Death to the dictator" in protest at the government's handling of the plane crash. Protesters demanded Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei step down, according to Reuters.
"Commander-in-chief (Khamenei) resign, resign," videos posted on
Twitter purportedly showed hundreds of people chanting, in front of Tehran's
Amir Kabir university.