Many Iranians said that their anger over the lack of accountability at the highest levels of their government has quickly returned.

“Our lives have no value,” Yalda, a 45-year-old graphic artist in Tehran, said in a telephone interview, asking not to be identified fully for fear of arrest. “They shot down the plane and not only do they not apologize but they are lying about it.”…

“This will be a big test for the government, and if there is a sense of blurring evidence or hiding something, that is going to hurt the legitimacy of the current system for sure,” said Aniseh Bassiri Tabrizi, a scholar of Iran at the Royal United Services Institute. “We are talking about a very large number of civilians.”

The government has struggled in vain to contain the embarrassment. After insisting the day after the crash that mechanical failure was to blame, the Iranian authorities abruptly shifted on Friday to pledging complete openness. Officials promised to invite investigators from several nations, including France, the United States and the home country of the airline, Ukraine.