Following the shooting down of a Ukrainian plane, which took place over Iran on January 8, the Islamic Republic only admitted that it was responsible for the targeting of the passenger aircraft when Iranian President Hassan Rouhani threatened to quit unless the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) admitted responsibility, The New York Times reported on Sunday.
According to the Times report the IRGC knew about the incident minutes after it happened and refused to share that information for days, even with the president of the Republic.
Rouhani was informed on January 11, after he and his government denied the allegations for three days. He then gave an ultimatum either the IRGC come clean or he resigns, causing Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to step in and order the government to acknowledge the shooting.
The jet was downed after rising tensions with US and shortly after Iran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles at US Army bases in Iraq, and the country's security forces were on high alert.
The officer that downed the plane tried unsuccessfully to reach his commanders, and then decided to shoot down the plane, finding out only after shooting it down that it was a Ukrainian airliner.
All 176 passengers and crew aboard the airliner died in the incident.