Iran: Ukraine politicizing plane: SNSC spokesman

This file photo shows debris from a Ukrainian plane, which crashed near Imam Khomeini International Airport in the Iranian capital Tehran early in the morning on January 8, 2020, killing everyone on board. (Photo by AFP)

Press TV: A high-ranking Iranian security official tells Press TV that allegations made by Ukrainian officials about accidental shooting down of a passenger plane over Iran’s sky are unconstructive, as they are trying to politicize the case.

Keyvan Khosravi, the spokesman for Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), made the remarks in a Monday interview with Press TV, saying that the plane’s black boxes were one of the main sources of information used to compile the final report of an investigation over accidental shooting down of the Ukrainian plane by Iranian air defense forces in January 2020.

Asked about recent remarks by an informed Iranian official, who said Ukraine is trying to attribute the incident to problems with the Russian Tor-M1 missile system, Khosravi declined to answer that question, but said, “Unfortunately, Ukrainian officials are trying to ascribe false allegations to Iranian officials in order to politicize this case, and their recent allegations in this regard are by no means constructive and acceptable.”

The official mentioned Iran’s all-out cooperation with Ukraine to clarify various aspects of this incident, saying, “Since the inception of this bitter incident, we have accepted all demands put forth by Ukrainian government, which at times went beyond what was necessary under usual circumstances, so that, there would remain no dark corner in the efforts made to shed light on the truth in this incident.”

“Sending the plane’s black boxes to France to decode their contents is the most important reason that proves Iran’s transparency and honesty in its effort to bring to light all details about this incident,” Khosravi said.

Khosravi described efforts made to take political advantage “of a bitter incident, which is related to sentiments of scores of bereft families” as “regrettable and inhuman,” adding, “Various independent expert groups have delved into all the existing hypotheses about targeting of the Ukrainian plane.”

All those groups, the Iranian official said, “have asserted categorically and based on technical and expert evidence that this incident has been unintentional and a result of human error.”

“So far, no foreign authority has offered any other technical reason to dismiss or even undermine Iran’s expert report [on this incident] and [some parties] are merely trying to mount political pressure on Iran by creating [an adverse] media atmosphere and provoking sentiments of the families of this incident’s martyrs,” Iran’s security official said.

Khosravi concluded by saying that judicial measures are underway in hearing of culprits of this bitter incident and their punishment will be soon meted out through the competent court.

On January 8, 2020, the Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752, en route to Kiev and carrying mostly Iranians, crashed minutes after takeoff near the Iranian capital, killing all the 176 on board.

The plane was shot down by Iran’s air defenses, which mistook the aircraft for a military target amid tensions between Tehran and Washington following the US assassination of top anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq days earlier.

On Saturday, An informed official close to Iran’s Supreme National Security Council said Ukraine has been trying to politicize the January 2020 accidental downing of its passenger plane in an attempt to mount pressure on Russia amid tensions between the two neighbors.

The official, whose name was not released, told Nour News on Sunday that Ukrainian officials had offered that Iran announce a technical glitch in its Russian-made Tor-M1 anti-aircraft defense system as the cause of the tragedy.

On Friday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh dismissed a claim by Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s national security and defense council, that the crash was “intentional and conscious attack.”

Danilov had told Canadian daily The Globe and Mail earlier in the day that “when they claim it was accidental…I don’t buy that.” He described the incident as “intentional” and a “conscious attack.”

In response, Khatibzadeh said “despite all the explanations as well as technical and expert reports [on the incident], Ukrainian officials continue making vague, political remarks,” expressing regret that “they present their imaginary and commissioned theories through media.”


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