The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has slammed Iran for "manipulating" data on the causes behind the shooting down of the Ukraine International Airlines passenger jet flight PS752.
"Instead of taking into account the objective remarks based on the international experience of air crash investigations, the Iranian side resorted to irresponsibly accusing Ukraine of the lack of constructiveness," MFA Ukraine said in a statement.
Read also PS752 downing: Ukraine, U.S. diplomats discuss Iran's final report Ukrainian diplomats say "the Iranian side is manipulating when it says that during the two rounds of negotiations, explanations were provided regarding the causes of the disaster."
"These causes must be officially confirmed by a technical probe that Iran was supposed to run in line with international law, and a final report, which was published as late as March of this year – more than 14 into the date of the disaster. Iran insists on the of human error version as the only correct one. At the same time, the analysis is lacking of the causes and chain of events that led to it, if such a mistake really became fatal. This could not but cause fair indignation and disappointment on the Ukrainian side," the statement says.
At the same time, the foreign ministry stressed Ukraine's commitment to constructive cooperation with Iran and recalled that they provided more than 90 pages of comments on the draft final report following the technical investigation, none of which were taken into account by the Iranian side.
Read also Ten Iranian officials indicted for shooting Ukraine passenger plane "Ukraine will not blindly believe any verbal version of the PS752 downing, which has not been backed by real evidence. At the same time, Iran is trying its best to promote the human error version that's beneficial to them, and it's surprising that Iran does not even try to analyze the reasons that led a fatal mistake, if it really caused the disaster, which means that the correct conclusions will not be drawn and the safety of civil aviation will not improve. It also means that any civilian aircraft in Iranian airspace could at any time be shot down, repeating the fate of the PS752," the foreign ministry believes.
Also, another, no less striking, example of Iran's failure to fulfill its international legal obligations was the extremely poor level of cooperation between investigators and law enforcement within the framework of the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Civil and Criminal Cases between Ukraine and Iran, as well as the Montreal Convention of 1971. In particular, it was from mass media that the Ukrainian side learned about the ten persons charged in connection with the downing. Iran never informed Ukraine, despite numerous inquiries, of the names and positions of indicted persons, as well as the nature of charges pressed.
PS752 downing: Background
- On January 8, 2020, Kyiv-bound Boeing 737 passenger jet flight PS752, operated by Ukraine International Airlines (UIA), was shot down in Iran shortly after takeoff from Tehran Airport. All 176 people on board, including 11 Ukrainian nationals – nine crew and two passengers – were killed. Among the victims were also citizens of Iran, Canada, Sweden, Afghanistan, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
- Three days later, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani admitted that the Ukrainian liner had been shot down as a result of an unintentional "human error," and promised to bring those responsible to justice.
- On October 19, 2020, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Yevhen Yenin met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Tehran. After the meeting, Yenin said Iran was ready to provide equal compensations to the relatives of all victims of the UIA plane, regardless of their citizenship. However, on December 9, 2020, Yenin said Iran had withdrawn the offer to handle the compensations.
- On December 31, 2020, at the fifth attempt, Iran submitted to Ukraine a draft technical report on the plane downing. Ukraine had two months to provide comments and suggestions on the report.
- Later it became known about secret audio recordings that indicate that the Iranian authorities will never reveal the truth about the downing of the Ukrainian plane.
- According to Canada's CBC News, the Canadian government and security agencies are examining an audio recording in which a man – identified by sources as Iran's foreign affairs minister – discusses the possibility that the destruction of flight PS752 was an intentional act.
- In late February 2021, Ukraine handed more than 90 pages of comments on the draft technical report over to Iran and insisted that Iran include them in the final document.
- On March 17, 2021, Iran released a final report, which stated it was an error by an air defense operator for the accidental downing of UIA Flight PS752. The plane was identified as a hostile target.
- In turn, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Iran's final report on PS752 had failed to take into account Ukraine's remarks and contained manipulative conclusions.
Translation: Yevgeny Matyushenko