A slew of influential Iranian artists, television personalities and sports stars have publicly broken with Tehran after the government denied for days that it shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane last week, NBC News reports.
“Apologies for lying to you for 13 years,” Gelareh Jabbari, a host on the state-run Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting TV network, wrote Monday in an Instagram post. The post has since been deleted but was seen by NBC News.
“It was very hard for me to believe our people have been killed, forgive me for believing this late,” added Jabbari, the anchor of the lifestyle show, “Good Morning Iran,” in an apparent reference to the 82 Iranians who were among the 176 passengers and crew members killed.
Iran initially denied that a missile had struck the plane last Wednesday shortly after it took off from Tehran, the capital, only to reverse course on Saturday and admit that it had shot the plane down by mistake.