Photo Credit: IRNA
Commander of the IRGC's Aerospace Force, Brigadier-General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh

You must remember Brigadier-General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) aerospace division, who on Saturday declared that that the operator at the missile launch site near Tehran was anxious about a US cruise missiles attack, so “he made a bad decision, triggered the missile and hit the plane.”

176 people were on board Ukrainian Airlines Flight PS752 when it was shot down.

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Hajizadeh then added tearfully, “I have longed to die after hearing about the plane crash. I wish I had died and not witnessed such an accident.”

Sounds repentant, doesn’t he.

But according to the Washington Free Beacon, the same IRGC commander back in 2016 said in an interview for internal consumption that Iranian officers are not expected to ask for permission before launching missile strikes.

“Ahead of time, scenarios have been planned and units have been given the authorization,” Hajizadeh said in the interview. “Look, when it comes to the shooting of defensive missiles, if an enemy aircraft is incoming, why would we be asking permission from someone? It’s possible that a sub-commander is manning the system I tell him and he shoots and hits the target.”

Referring to the 2014 IRGC’s claimed downing of an Israeli drone near the Natanz nuclear enrichment plant some 185 miles south of Tehran, Hajizadeh told the interviewer: “A while ago when we hit the Zionist regime’s Hermès system at Natanz, it’s not that they asked me or the general staff or the defense commander for permission.”

“The officer manning the system saw, assessed, and struck. It’s the same situation with the surface-to-surface missiles. It’s not like an order is issued—the officers start the initial operation but any continuation and the policy planning would be done by the senior commanders. But the initial operation, the reaction, would be done immediately.”

And now we know so much more about the downing of Ukrainian Airlines Flight PS752.

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