Ukraine Says Iran Reports “Cynical” Attempt to Cover Up Cause of Plane Crash | Iran News
The criticism comes after the Iranian air agency said the crash was the result of an error by an air defense operator who took the plane as a hostile target.
Ukraine has criticized an Iranian report on the crash of a Ukrainian airliner last year as a “cynical attempt” by authorities in Tehran to hide the real reasons for the crash.
Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 crashed minutes after taking off from the Iranian capital on January 8, 2020, at a time of heightened tensions during a regional confrontation with the United States. After three days, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) admitted that “human error” led to the plane being shot down with two surface-to-air missiles, killing all 176 people on board.
In its final report on the cause of the crash, the Iranian civil aviation body blamed an error by an air defense operator on Wednesday.
“The plane was identified as a hostile target due to an error by the air defense operator … near Tehran and two missiles were fired at it,” read the summary of the report. “The operation of the flight did not play a role in creating the air defense battery error,” the report adds.
Shortly after its publication, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called the report “nothing more than a cynical attempt to hide the real reasons for our plane’s crash.”
“We will not allow Iran to hide the truth, we will not allow it to escape responsibility for this crime,” he wrote on Facebook. “Justice will prevail however much effort and time it takes.”
Immediately after the tragedy, the Iranian government declared the shooting a “disastrous mistake” on the part of the forces which were on high alert during the confrontation with the United States.
Iran was in the throes of possible attacks after firing missiles at Iraqi bases housing US forces in retaliation for the murder days earlier of its most powerful military commander, Qassem Soleimani, in a strike of American missiles on Baghdad airport.
In December, Iran promised to pay $ 150,000 to each of the families of the victims. The flight carried 167 passengers and nine crew members.
While most of the passengers were Iranians, many had dual Canadian citizenship as they made their way to Kiev on their way to Canada.
Canada and Iran, which do not have official diplomatic relations, have also had several political disputes over the downed plane over the past year.
In December, former Canadian Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne said he did not believe the plane crash could be blamed on human error.
In a strong rebuke, Iran’s foreign ministry called Champagne’s claim “unacceptable” and “completely political and anti-judicial”.