Iran: Probe into Ukrainian Plane Accident Completed by Investigation Team

The investigation team completed the probe and inspection process of the Ukrainian passenger plane accident which was mistakenly downed near Tehran last year and the technical report of the incident was released on time, the Iranian foreign ministry said in a statement.

After the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry’s statement and also the latest developments regarding a Ukrainian plane’s crash, the Public Relations Office of Iran’s Foreign Ministry in a statement declared certain points to enlighten public opinion.

“Following the tragic crash of the Ukrainian plane, the Islamic Republic of Iran, based on good faith in a bid to dispel possible misunderstandings in bilateral relations, made every effort to interact appropriately with the Ukrainian government on various aspects of this accident in a constructive and professional atmosphere,” the statement said on Tuesday.

“Accordingly, as they are aware, in addition to several meetings and contacts at different levels between relevant officials of the two countries, the delegations of the two sides comprising representatives of all relevant departments participated in three rounds of bilateral talks, August 2020 in Kiev, October 2020 in Tehran and June 2021 in Kiev, and within the framework of the foregoing negotiations, all technical, military, legal and criminal aspects and also payments were discussed in detail and in line with international obligations and even beyond. The delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in good faith, informed the Ukrainian delegation of all its findings and a detailed description of the measures taken, and made efforts to give necessary answers to the questions of the Ukrainian delegation within the confines of rules and regulations.”

The statement noted that despite the Ukrainian side’s unwillingness to negotiate the damage suffered by the families of the victims and the Ukrainian International Airlines (MAO), which was announced in the second round of bilateral talks, necessary coordination was made to begin negotiations between the said airline and the Iranian government (represented by the Center for International Legal Affairs), it added that the first round of talks was held on June 30, 2021 and the parties are in touch in this regard.

“Regarding the technical aspects of the accident, after reading the black boxes in Paris in accordance with the relevant international regulations and with the participation of the relevant governments, in accordance with Annex 13 of the Chicago Convention, the accident investigation team completed the probe and inspection process and the technical report of the accident was published on time after making the necessary arrangements with the relevant governments, and was also duly submitted to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). This issue was communicated to the participating governments during the speech of the then deputy foreign minister and in the presence of the Iranian delegation in the ICAO council meeting on 18 June 2021.”

The statement added that from a criminal and judicial perspective, the Islamic Republic of Iran, after taking into account all legal and criminal aspects and in accordance with its own rules and regulations, has taken the necessary measures to conduct criminal investigations and inquiries through the Tehran Military Prosecutor’s Office against the accused and the indictment was presented to the court by the Prosecutor. The first court hearing was held on November 21, 2021. The court hearings are be held in due course at the discretion of the honorable judges and in compliance with all legal standards, and will continue until the result is achieved and justice is administered.

On the other hand, the Islamic Republic of Iran, in good faith and in order to appease the families of the victims, has set a figure as payment that will be made ex-gratia to the families of all victims (without any discrimination such as their citizenship) and with the establishment of a “Payment Headquarters” in the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development, a large number of families have been paid so far and legal steps are being taken to pay the rest. In this vein, in addition to informing and paying Iranian citizens, through sending letters, the governments of Ukraine, Canada, Afghanistan and Sweden, some of whose citizens are among the victims, have been informed of Iran’s readiness to pay the families of their citizens killed in the accident, the statement underlined.
“As a result, as it is clear from the foregoing points, the Iranian Foreign Ministry believes that all aspects of the Ukrainian plane crash have been adequately addressed during three rounds of talks between the delegations of the two sides and other formal bilateral contacts. However, the Islamic Republic of Iran is always ready to continue bilateral interactions through the embassies of the two sides or other meetings and interactions between their officials,” it concluded.

Kiev, in its statement, had rejected Tehran’s invitation for the Ukrainian ambassador’s participation in the court hearings, which began on November 21.

The Ukrainian 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.

Iran later reciprocated the US terrorist operation by hitting the US Ain al-Assad airbase in Iraq.

Commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh admitted that human error the incident.

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