Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed members of his security cabinet on Sunday morning by saying that Iran willingly chose to lie about its role in last week’s downing of a Ukrainian jetliner carrying 176 people on board.

“Iran lied. Just as they lied about their secret nuclear program, they are lying now about the downing of the Ukrainian aircraft,” Netanyahu said. “They knew from the start that they had downed it. They knew that it was an unintentional downing, but they lied intentionally. They deceived the entire world.”

“This is completely contrary to how a civilized country should act and we send our condolences to the victims of Iran’s deception and negligence,” he added.

On Wednsday, a Ukrainian passenger plane carrying 176 people crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran’s airport. The crash came shortly after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack on two military bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in an American airstrike in Baghdad.

Initially, Iran denied any wrongdoing, but it soon became clear that Iran was lying as details of the crash began leaking out.

With the evidence mounting up, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps admitted to shooting the passenger plane down, but also claimed that it was a mistake caused by “human error.”

“The plane was flying in its normal direction without any error and everybody was doing their job correctly,” Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps airspace unit, said in a statement on Saturday. “If there was a mistake, it was made by one of our members.”

In a statement on Saturday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani accepted responsibility but blamed it on the “threats and bullying” by the U.S after the killing of Soleimani. Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also echoed that same sentiment by tweeting that it was a “human error at a time of crisis caused by U.S. adventurism,” which “led to disaster.”

Netanyahu also praised the Iranian people who are demonstrating in the streets and thanked the U.S. for imposing new sanctions on the regime.

Source » worldisraelnews