Iran dismisses Ukraine official’s claims on 2020 passenger jet tragedy
Iran has dismissed a claim by Ukraine’s security chief that the January 2020 downing of a Ukrainian plane near Tehran — which happened amid heightened military tensions between Iran and the US — was “intentional.”
According to Press TV, on Friday, Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, reacted to comments by Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s national security and defense council, who had told Canadian daily The Globe and Mail earlier in the day that the crash had been 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.”
“It appears that the Ukrainian authorities do give priority to neither resolving [the issue surrounding] the bitter incident in line with objective and technical reality, nor reducing the sufferings of the bereaved families,” he said.
They are instead trying to making political gains by linking the tragedy to their woes at home or their ties with other countries, said Khatibzadeh, adding that such “political abuses” are not acceptable at all.
The plane was shot down with 176 people aboard on January 8, 2020, by Iran’s air defenses, which mistook the aircraft for a military target amid military tensions between Tehran and Washington following the US assassination of Iran’s Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq days earlier.
Hours before the tragedy happened, Iran had launched a retaliatory missile strike against a US-run base in western Iraq, and then the country’s air defenses were on high alert due to increased American aerial activity in the aftermath of the strike.
Iran acknowledged days later that the mismanagement of an air defense unit’s radar system by its operator was the key human error that led to the accident.
Tehran has promised that all those culpable in the incident will face trial and said it has allocated 200 million Euros for compensation of the survivors.
“Iran stands ready to engage in talks with all sides within the framework of international law and norms and advises all the parties involved not exit the boundaries of reason and law when making remarks,” he said.