Tehran: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani threatened to resign over the downing of a Ukrainian jet carrying 176 passengers earlier this month, The New York Times reported.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps accidentally shot down the passenger plane amid heightened tensions with the US that have since cooled a bit. A series of communication errors reportedly led to an officer firing missiles at the plane, believing it was a hostile US aircraft. Upon realising what had actually happened, the IRGC began to cover their tracks, refusing to even tell Rouhani the truth for days.
Rouhani, left in the dark, reportedly deflected phone calls from other world leaders because he had no answers for them, and military commanders were doing the same thing to him when he tried to reach them. When finally informed of the truth, officials close to Rouhani told the Times, the president was “livid,” demanding that Tehran admit the mistake and face the consequences. Military officials reportedly argued with Rouhani out of fear that the news would destabilise the country. That’s when Rouhani said he would resign.
Eventually, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei got a message to the military, siding with Rouhani and ordering a public statement acknowledging what happened.