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Iran slams unprofessional behaviors regarding Ukrainian plane; says ready to negotiate

A senior Iranian diplomat has blasted the unprofessional behavior of certain countries in dealing with the 2020 Ukrainian plane crash near Tehran, expressing the Islamic Republic’s readiness for negotiation and cooperation on the matter.

Manoucher Moradi, the Iranian Ambassador to Kiev, made the remarks in a series of tweets on Friday, saying that the third round of talks between Ukrainian and Iranian deputy foreign ministers came to an end in a constructive and professional manner after two days of intense negotiations on the crash of the Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752.

“A wide range of issues were covered, including criminal proceedings and technical issues, including aviation, flight safety, and Iran’s final report,” Moradi wrote.

The senior Iranian diplomat said the Ukrainian side underlined the jurisdiction of the Iranian courts to hear the case after Tehran had reported on the criminal proceedings and the measures taken to try individuals involved in the incident.

Moradi said in a tweet that the Iranian delegation had presented a report on technical issues and its measures to ensure the country’s flights, and announced that after the accident, Tehran had made the necessary arrangements to ensure that similar accidents would not occur.

“The Iranian side represented a report on measures taken by Iran’s judicial system to hold accountable those, who were involved in the shooting down of the plane, and the Ukrainian party endorsed the qualification of the Iranian courts to investigate the case,” the ambassador wrote.

“The Iranian delegation also announced its readiness to pay compensation to the Ukrainian families of the victims of the accident in the amount of $ 150,000 per person and asked the Ukrainian delegation to inform the survivors of the Ukrainian victims,” he added.

Pointing to the formation of a group by three other countries involved in the case and the Ukrainian delegation’s plea for negotiations between Iran and the group, Moradi said Tehran does not recognize the group and expressed the Islamic Republic’s dissatisfaction with such unprofessional and hostile stance towards the country.

Moradi, however, stressed that the Iranian delegation is ready to hold bilateral talks with countries that respect Iran’s jurisdiction, sovereignty and political independence.

The Iranian ambassador said the Ukrainian side expressed willingness for holding the next round of negotiations, with Tehran underlining that it would only reply to “unanswered questions” within the framework of the Iranian laws and regulations.

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.

Hours before the tragedy happened, Iran had launched a retaliatory missile strike against a US-run base in western Iraq and then put 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.                         

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