Iran: Ukrainian plane crash should not be used for political objectives 

January 17, 2020 - 18:51

TEHRAN - Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi reacted to the Thursday meeting of the foreign ministers of five countries whose citizens were accidentally killed in a Ukrainian plane crash near Tehran on January 8, noting that the incident should not be used as a pretext to serve political objectives.

The passenger plane was shot down on the morning of January 8, nearly four hours after Iran fired dozens of missiles at a U.S. airbase in Iraq in retaliation to the January 3 assassination of Iran’s top general Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad.

On Thursday, the foreign ministers of Afghanistan, Britain, Canada, Sweden and Ukraine held a meeting in London and demanded "full cooperation" from Iran in a transparent international inquiry into the crash.

In reaction to the London meeting, Mousavi said that his country calls on all sides not to turn the human issues, especially such sorrowful incident, into a political gesture to serve certain interests.

He further said that let the case goes on as it has been pursued smoothly without any margin.  

The foreign ministers of the five mentioned countries also said Iran must pay compensation.

Speaking on behalf the group, Canadian Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne said, "We are here to pursue closure, accountability, transparency and justice for the victims - Ukrainian, Swedish, Afghan, British, Canadian as well as Iranian, through a full complete and transparent international investigation.”

"In the wake of such a horrific tragedy there are many many questions. Families want answers, all of the countries assembled here today want answers, and the international community want answers. The world is waiting for those answers and we will not rest until we get them."

The Iranian military announced last Saturday that the plane had been mistaken for an incoming  U.S. cruise missile.

The victims included 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans, and three British nationals. 

Top Iranian generals including IRGC Chief Hossein Salami and Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force, have wished they were in the plane to avoid the shame of making such a colossal mistake.

Major General Hossein Salami made the remarks during a closed session of the parliament on Sunday.
“Concerning the incident, we are saddened more than anybody else and never thought we would carry out an action that could harm people,” Salami said in a closed session of the parliament.
“We are saddened more than anybody else and never thought we would carry out an action that could harm people.”
President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that the Judiciary should form a special court headed by a high-ranking judge and assisted by tens of senior experts to investigate the issue of the plane crash.

On Wednesday, Abbas Mousavi said that a special working group was established by the Foreign Ministry to facilitate consular affairs for the victims of the Ukrainian passenger plane.


MJ/PA

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