STORRS, CT (WFSB) – Tensions remain high after the Iranian government admitted to shooting down a Ukrainian passenger plane, killing all 176 on board.
Protesters have been taking to the street in Tehran, denouncing their government.
The effects of this turmoil are being felt in Connecticut.
Iranian students at the University of Connecticut held a candlelight vigil on Monday night for the victims killed in the plane crash.
For Iranian who live in the U.S., it’s a frightening time.
One by one, images of the victims killed in the plane crash appeared on a monitor. Members of the Iranian Cultural Organization held a vigil to remember the lives lost.
International students, fearing for their safety, did not want to go on camera, but family members of the victims killed in the crash are demanding change.
“I hope as an outcome, there will be some preventative measure put in place so this tragedy will never, ever happen to another family ever again,” said Navaz Ebrahim, sister and brother-in-law killed in the crash.
Over the weekend, Iranian officials admitted to unintentionally shooting down the Ukrainian Airlines flight, mistaking it for a cruise missile.
Protestors in Iran took to the streets, denouncing their government’s actions, but some have joined Iranian officials who blame the U.S. for creating a war-like atmosphere.
“It was my dismay for them to blame it as an American propaganda and mechanical failure, and they did the right thing to admit it and bring in the investigators to take responsibility,” said Mark Esper, Secretary of Defense.
The plane was struck over Tehran just hours after Iran fired about 15 ballistic missiles at Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops.
Iran says it was retaliation for the Trump administration’s targeted killing days earlier of senior Iranian Commander Qassem Soleimani.
President Donald Trump continues to defend his decision to kill the general.
But the administration is facing pressure to provide details of the intelligence used to justify the attack.
The Trump administration says Solemani’s death makes Americans safer, but the threat of additional attacks remains, including cyberattacks.
Meanwhile, the lead European Aviation Agency recommends commercial flights avoid flying above Iran, a sign they think the situation there is still unstable.