Iran’s foreign minister accuses officials of lying about downing of Ukrainian plane

New Delhi – Iran’s foreign minister, addressing days of unrest in his country, said Wednesday that demonstrators were angry at being “lied to” following the accidental downing of a Ukrainian plane last week that killed all 176 people on board.

The comments by Mohammad Javad Zarif referred to Iran’s refusal for days to disclose the cause of the crash, after an Iranian air defense battery shot down the plane. The incident occurred during a week of heightened military tensions with the United States.

Iran’s belated admission that it had targeted the aircraft accidentally set off student-led protests and rare criticism of Iran’s clerical leadership from some government loyalists.

“We’ve had people in the streets of Tehran demonstrating against the fact that they were lied to for a couple of days,” Zarif said at the Raisina Dialogue, an annual foreign policy conference in New Delhi.

“Our military forces were brave enough to claim responsibility early on. But people are angry even with those two days. That is the expectation that people have with the government – that the government should have disclosed the information,” he said.