Ukraine does not agree with Iran's theory of human error being the cause of the downing of a Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) flight near Tehran and is waiting for the results of the investigation and the established legal facts, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said.
"It is too early to claim that the plane was shot down due to human error, as the Iranian side claims. We have many questions, and we need many authoritative, impartial and maximally objective answers to what had happened. As of now, Ukraine cannot agree with the fact that the plane was shot down due to human error. We are convinced that this issue should be resolved as part of a criminal investigation with the establishment of all the facts," he said at a briefing on Tuesday, July 14.
According to him, only then will it be possible to state definitively that a certain theory was behind the downing of the Ukrainian passenger plane.
Kuleba said today that "the imposition of interpretations is wrong" and that everyone should focus on establishing legal facts.
"In any case, the downing of a civilian plane is an illegal act, and Iran will answer for this act in accordance with international law. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine is fully prepared for this legal and diplomatic struggle, and we will do all we can so that Iran pays the highest price for what had happened," Kuleba said.
He said that according to the Ukrainian Embassy in Iran, the Iranian side has expressed its readiness to arrive for talks on compensation to Ukraine between July 20 and 30.
The minister also noted that the next important step was to examine the plane's black box flight recorders and added that this should happen next week in France with the participation of leading experts from the United States, Canada, France, Britain, and Ukraine.
Iran's Civil Aviation Organization said on July 11 that the misalignment of the missile guidance system and a decision to fire without authorization had led to the accidental downing of the Ukrainian passenger plane in January.
The Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) plane (flight PS752) heading from Tehran to Kyiv crashed shortly after it took off from the Imam Khomeini International Airport at about 06:00 Tehran time (04:30 Kyiv time) on January 8. There were 176 people on board – nine crew members (all Ukrainians) and 167 passengers (citizens of Ukraine, Iran, Canada, Sweden, Afghanistan, Germany, and the UK). They all died.
On January 11, Iran admitted that its military had accidentally shot down the Ukrainian passenger jet. Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) accepted full responsibility for the downing of the Ukrainian airliner. It emerged later that the UIA plane had been shot down by two missiles of the Tor-M1 air defense system, which Iran received from Russia.
Photo credit: AA