Gov’t considers itself responsible to meet all its legal duties/ Ukrainian jetliner case not normal; Judiciary should hold special hearing headed by a senior judge to investigate the issue/ Gov’t to continue efforts to investigate all aspects, punish those involved, ensure such things never happen
President appreciated the armed forces' good cooperation in investigating the cause of the Ukrainian jetliner crash and said, "The government will continue its efforts until all aspects of the incident are investigated and to make sure that those involved are punished and assure people that such things will not happen again. Speaking on Tuesday at the Conference for Praising Top National Examples of Agriculture, President Hassan Rouhani re-expressed condolences over the martyrdom of Lieutenant General Qasem Soleimani, those who lost their lives in Kerman and the Ukrainian passenger plane crash.
He added, "The Ukrainian jetliner case is not a normal one and I urge the Judiciary to hold a special hearing headed by a senior judge to investigate the issue.
The authorities related to this case must explain the entire process that happened from Wednesday morning until the time the Supreme National Security Council convened, said Rouhani.
He added, "From the moment I thought the crash of the Ukrainian plane was not normal, I tried to shorten the investigation period to know exactly how the plane crashed.
The President continued, "The Armed Forces, which was our only way of finding the truth in this case, cooperated well, and immediately after I was informed of the very painful and unforgivable mistake, I immediately told the authorities to inform the people.
The president said, "It was a very bitter accident and it is very heavy for people to bear, because even if the plane had crashed because of a technical fault, it was still very sad, but after it became clear that it was human error and mistake that led to the disaster, it added to the sadness of the people.
Dr Rouhani expressed his condolences to all bereaved families in Iran and elsewhere, saying, "As I have said to the leaders and authorities of those countries by telephone, I promise that the government will pursue this matter with all its facilities".
"This is a very important issue," the president said, adding, "The judiciary should hold a special court with a high-ranking judge and dozens of experts. This is not a normal case and the whole world will follow the case in our court.
"I also urge all members of the government to stand with these dear families to solve their problems, and I urge the dear people of Iran to show their sympathy with these dear ones, both in Tehran and in other cities, he said.
"As a father, I feel how difficult it is to lose a highly-educated elite young child who has been an asset for our country and for our nation and our people," said Dr Rouhani, adding, "The fact that our armed forces explicitly proclaimed their mistake and apologised to the people was a good first step in this regard and all subsequent steps should be taken.
The president added, "Because of my more or less familiarity with air defence, I state that a single individual cannot be blamed. It is not just the one who pressed the button, but rather there are others, and I want this matter to be explained to people honestly.
Dr Rouhani said, "Our people know that this accident was the result of an error and mistake, but who was involved and what circumstances led to that accident? It is true that at this time the root of all grief goes back to America. It was America that inflamed the atmosphere and made the situation abnormal, threatened and took our loved ones from us; all this is true, but it does not mean that we should not address all the root causes of the incident.
The president said, "Another question that people are asking is whether the time from the incident until the announcement was long, that is did it take a day or two or was it just a few hours? I also urge the authorities to explain to the public the whole process from Wednesday morning when the incident happened until Friday night when it reached the National Security Council emergency session.
Dr Rouhani said, "Our people all share this grief but want to find out whether their officials have behaved properly and within the framework of ethics. I, as the representative of the Iranian nation and the President, will pursue this issue and inform the people of any outcome in the next steps.
The president reiterated, "The incident is not a small one but the issue of the security of Iran's atmosphere. It is not just the question of 176 people, but those who were perished were very dear to us, but the security of Iran's atmosphere is very important to our nation and the world.
Dr Rouhani said, "It is very important for our people that whoever, at any level, was to blame should be introduced and whoever is to be punished, should be punished. The government considers itself responsible for the loss of the dear Iranians and citizens of other countries and will perform all its legal duties.
The president added, "But in my opinion, the most important thing is that people have to be sure that such incidents will not happen again. The most important thing for our people, the world's public opinion, aviation and Iran's airspace security is that the incident does not happen again, which requires revisions to regulations, rules of procedure and guidelines.
Dr, Rouhani said, "We are all responsible for revisiting all these rules once again to find out why this this tragic incident happened in our country, what and where the weaknesses were. It is an incident that I think is unprecedented in the history of our country.
The President said, "So, in sympathy with all the dear families that have lost their loved ones, I declare that this process will be continued until all aspects of the incident are investigated and to make sure that those involved are punished and assure people that such things will not happen again.
The president went on to say that in the difficult conditions that our country is going through, the ill-wishers want to put our people under pressure, saying, "In such conditions, our hard-working farmers have a huge role to play in people's welfare.
We once had to import millions of tonnes of wheat, but today we have achieved self-sufficiency for many years and will be self-sufficient next year as well. These achievements are because of the efforts and dedication of our dear farmers, and of course the management of the agricultural sector has made a significant contribution in this regard, and I thank them all for their efforts, he said.
The President noted, "The government has invested more than 4.5 trillion tomans in Khuzestan province and this year alone 5 trillion tomans worth of rice has been produced in the province.
Dr Rouhani added, "In the eleventh and twelfth governments, about 37 dams have started operation to date, and extensive drainage projects have been carried out, and 28 million tonnes of agricultural products have been added in the 11th and 12th governments' term of office.
The effects of what the government has done in the land and water sector will remain in the country for decades to come, and the future generations will benefit from them, the president said.
Dr Rouhani also emphasised the need to take advantage of science and technology in the field of agriculture, saying, "Today, the time of traditional agriculture is over, and as the population grows, we must prepare ourselves to produce more. Therefore, due to the limited water and soil resources in the country, more products can be produced using science and technology.
Source: Presidency of Islamic Republic of Iran