Tehran admitted to downing Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 on Jan. 11 after denying responsibility for days and attempting to place the blame on the plane’s pilots. All 176 people on the flight died, including 82 Iranian citizens.
“We are not citizens, we are captives, millions of captives,” actress Taraneh Alidoosti told her 5.8 million Instagram followers in a now-deleted post.
Alidoosti joined movie director Masoud Kimiai, actor Navid Mohamadzadeh, and a handful of others in boycotting a slew of Iranian film and theater festivals.
“Apologies for lying to you on TV for 13 years,” television host Gelareh Jabbari said in a now-deleted Instagram post last week. “It was very hard for me to believe our people have been killed, forgive me for believing this late.”
Olympic bronze medalist Kimia Alizadeh announced earlier this month that she was defecting from the regime over its history of lies and propaganda. Alizadeh is the first and only female Olympic medalist from Iran, earning the title at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“They took me wherever they wanted. I wore whatever they said. Every sentence they ordered me to say, I repeated. Whenever they saw fit, they exploited me,” she said, referring to Iran’s leaders. “I wasn’t important to them. None of us mattered to them; we were tools,”
Tehran’s lead investigator into the plane crash, Hassan Rezaeifar, announced on Sunday that he would not turn over the plane’s black boxes to another country for analysis after initially stating that his team did not have the capability to analyze the data.
“We are trying to read the black boxes here in Iran; otherwise, our options are Ukraine and France, but no decision has been taken so far to send them to another country,” Rezaeifar said.
Iran shot down Flight 752 on Jan. 8 while firing ballistic missiles at two Iraqi military bases where U.S. soldiers were stationed. Nobody died in the missile strikes, but nearly a dozen servicemen received treatment for concussions and brain trauma.
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