Ukrainian plane was hit by two missiles, specialists say. So, who fired the first missile?
The big question now is whether the first hit also came from Iranian armed forces or terrorists, and there are some arguments in favor of the latter
Private investigators are no longer unusual, even with politically sensitive issues. This is the case with MH17 with Josef Resch and with many, especially anti-Russian issues at Bellingcat, where one has to assume that private organizations are also used here to achieve political goals, which cannot (yet) be done with state authorities. Now a private investigator from Germany has intervened in the event of the Ukrainian plane being shot down in Iran and has tried to support an interesting hypothesis that is not supported by either the West, Iran or Russia.
As is well known, the Iranian leadership initially tried to portray the crash of the passenger plane as a technical error. But it was inevitable to admit that a mobile, allegedly outdated anti-aircraft system of the Revolutionary Guards had mistaken the plane for a cruise missile due to a human error and under high pressure and poor communication. That sounded somewhat convincing, but it also left doubts as to how one could mistake an ascending plane for a cruise missile flying to a target even with poor radar images and under high time pressure (“regime change is in the air”).
Who fired the first missile?
After a detailed and convincing analysis of two videos, Klaus Fejsa assumes that the machine was first hit by a rocket. Then the plane was on fire, descended towards the airport and then hit by the Iranian air defense, after which it crashed quickly. He believes the possibility that the first missile was not fired by Iranian forces, but that it could be a terrorist attack.
In fact, Iran might not have been interested in shooting down a passenger plane that primarily carried Iranian passengers. On the other hand, it would be more conceivable that an anti-mullah terrorist group or a group controlled by western secret services wanted to damage the regime after the successful attacks on US bases in Iraq from Tehran’s perspective – with a portable surface-to-air missile. After all, this has intensified protests against the Iranian leadership, even though the US is forgiving – suspicious? – spoke of an accidental shooting.
That Fejsa is not wrong was also confirmed by the New York Times, which published a video from a surveillance camera, according to which it must also be assumed that the passenger plane was hit by two rockets. But this could hardly be explained with an oversight or a human error. According to the NYT, the rockets had been fired from an “Iranian military site” (site) every 23 seconds. The first impact had already caused the transponder to fail. None of the hits led directly to the crash. The plane burning after the first attack was then flown back towards the airfield.
So far, NYT and Fejsa agree, but not with the conclusions. Without further knowledge, the NYT assumes that – as the title says – “two Iranian missiles have hit the Ukrainian plane”. But the big question is whether both missiles were fired by Iranian forces. This naturally raises the question of why the Iranian leadership switched to human error after the first denial and why it was argued by the West that it had been an oversight by the Revolutionary Guards.
The Iranian leadership will be reluctant to admit that terrorists or Western-backed actors may be able to carry out such an attack near Tehran. The Air Force commander of the Revolutionary Guard has actually ruled out that chopping or jamming could have been the cause. Western intelligence agencies would, of course, have no interest in being held responsible for the deaths of many civilians if the Iranian leadership were to be demonstrated and a regime change promoted.
The skepticism about the statements made so far is at least confirmed for the time being. The “fog of war”, as with MH17, has overlaid the incident. As with MH17, many people had to die. The first, apparently obvious accusations do not have to be true, nor do they convey good-evil and friend-enemy ideologies. Unfortunately, many media fail to play a questioning role because they have become system-compliant.
If it were true that the plane was hit by two rockets in quick succession and the first attack was not made by Iranian forces, then both the Iranian leadership and especially the West would be in a bad position. The West because it covers terror, Iran because it denies terror.
The author of the article is Florian Rötzer. Florian Rötzer works as a freelance author and publicist with a focus on media theory and aesthetics in Munich and as an organizer of numerous international symposia. The original article has been published in Telepolis. Translation and editing by Defenseweek’s team.