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British envoy to Iran denies he took part in demo before arrest

Iran said Saturday it had unintentionally shot down the Ukrainian airliner that crashed this week outside Tehran killing 176 people.

Rescue teams work at the scene after a Ukrainian plane carrying 176 passengers crashed near Imam Khomeini airport in the Iranian capital Tehran early in the morning on 8 January 2020, killing everyone on board. Picture: AFP

LONDON – Britain's ambassador to Tehran denied Sunday that he took part in a demonstration that broke out at a memorial for the 176 people killed when a plane was shot down.

"Can confirm I wasn't taking part in any demonstrations! Went to an event advertised as a vigil for victims of #PS752 tragedy," Rob Macaire said on Twitter, adding he had been detained for half an hour.

Meanwhile, Iran said Saturday it had unintentionally shot down the Ukrainian airliner that crashed this week outside Tehran killing 176 people, calling it an "unforgivable mistake".

The statement sparked some relief that at least the immediate cause of the disaster would not be concealed amid international calls for a full accounting and compensation for the victims.

Iran has invited the United States, Ukraine, Canada and others to join the crash investigation.

The plane was carrying Iranians, Canadians, Ukrainians, Swedes, Afghans, Germans and Britons.

Herewith are some of the remarks by global leaders in response to Iran's acknowledgement of its responsibility for the catastrophe.

UKRAINE: 'BRING THE GUILTY TO COURT'

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky demanded that Iran punish those responsible, pay compensation and apologise.

"We expect Iran... to bring the guilty to the courts," the Ukrainian leader wrote on Facebook, calling for the "payment of compensation" and the return of remains.

"We hope the inquiry will be pursued without deliberate delay and without obstruction," Zelensky added

He also urged "total access" to the full inquiry for 45 Ukrainian experts and in a tweet called for an "official apology".