“Make no mistake. The Trump regime, which has launched hot wars and by other means against regional countries, bears full responsibility for the tragic downing of the Ukraine airliner, forcing Iran’s military to be on high alert against possible US aggression,” Lendman told Press TV on Saturday.
“Trump’s threat to terror-bomb 52 Iranian targets further heightened tensions. US regional bases are platforms for endless wars of aggression,” he added.
On Saturday, Trump claimed that his military would hit “very important” targets, including cultural heritage sites, if the Iranians want to take a retaliatory action against the US assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, Presstv reported.
“We have ... targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran” said Trump in a tweet while making a reference to the occupation of the former US embassy in Tehran in 1979.
The threat came after Iranian authorities vowed vengeance for the US assassination of General Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Quds force, Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis as well as several of their Iranian and Iraqi comrades in Baghdad early on January 3.
“As long as Pentagon forces occupy regional countries, peace and stability in the Middle East will remain unattainable,” Lendman said.
“Separately, the Trump regime imposed new illegal sanctions on Iran, in large part symbolically adding to existing ones on Iranian construction, manufacturing, textiles, mining, aluminum, copper, iron and steel industries,” the analyst said.
“US rage for unchallenged dominance by brute force and other hostile actions bear full responsibility for regional turmoil, heightened tensions, the threat of greater war, and the human toll affecting countless millions,” said the veteran journalist.
All 176 people on the Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) flight died in the crash this week just after take-off from Tehran on a flight to Kiev.
Iran on Saturday said that it mistakenly shot down the Ukrainian passenger jet, saying the plane had flown close to a sensitive military site and been brought down due to human error "at a time of crisis caused by US adventurism."
In a statement, the nation's armed forces said it targeted the passenger plane unintentionally, attributing the crash to radar activity and concerns of US action.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake. My thoughts and prayers go to all the mourning families," Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif offered Iran's "profound regrets, apologies and condolences to our people, to the families of all victims, and to other affected nations."
"A sad day. Preliminary conclusions of internal investigation by Armed Forces: Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster," he tweeted.
Iran’s nation's armed forces said in the statement that Tehran was on the highest level of alert "in response to threats by the criminal American president and military commanders" to hit a large number of Iranian targets.
"In the hours after the missile strikes, flights by the warplanes of the terrorist American forces around the country increased, and some reports of aerial targets heading toward strategic centers of the country were received by defense units while a number of targets appeared on some radar screens which raised the sensitivity of the air defense networks.
“Under such sensitive and critical conditions, the Ukrainian Airlines flight 752 took off from the Imam Khomeini airport and while rotating, it was placed completely in the position of approaching a sensitive military center in the altitude and trajectory of an enemy target.
"In these circumstances, the plane was unintentionally hit due to human error, which unfortunately resulted in the martyrdom of a number of our dear compatriots and the death of a number of foreign nationals."