Why did Iran admit to shooting down the Boeing 737 airliner?
It appears that Iran really really wanted to not admit that they shot down the Ukraine Airlines B737-800.
First they said that the 737 tried to turn back to the airport and had an engine failure. Except the 737 had an ADS-B transponder and which was being tracked live by satellite and even live websites like FlightAware viewable by the general public worldwide could see that wasn’t the case.
However they stuck to their guns for a few days, claiming that the 737 suffered a mechanical fault and crashed.
However an engine failure profile usually ends up with the aircraft remaining mostly intact till impact, and the wreckage was strewn about the place over several miles like it broke apart mid-air.
That’s not how jet engines fail.
It is how missiles destroy aircraft.
Then some images of the wreckage started popping up on social media. The scattered holes looked like shrapnel damage in the fuselage and tail of the aircraft. Classic missile damage profile.
Then someone who lived in Tehran posted a video of the 737 crashing, showing it on fire, and bits falling off it before it crashed.
And the satellites (both Russian and American) that track missile launches around the world since The Cold War, tracked 2 missiles being launched from an SA-15D self propelled missile launcher within a few miles of where the 737 crashed at roughly the same time that the 737 crashed.
And they found the seeking head of a missile in a nearby town.
And aviation experts in other countries were even able to name the Iranian army division that shot the missile, all without even having set foot in Iran.
At which point it was just silly to keep lying about it.