Politicization of Ukrainian plane crash must be rejected, Zarif says

January 18, 2020 - 20:6

TEHRAN – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that politicization of the Ukrainian passenger plane crash must be rejected.

“Politicization of this tragedy must be rejected,” Zarif tweeted on Friday after a meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne in Muscat, Oman.

The Ukrainian passenger plane, with 176 people aboard, was mistakenly downed on January 8 near Tehran by air defense system.

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

Zarif said now all the countries affected by the plane incident should focus on the agonies of the bereaved families.
 
“Focus on victims’ families,” Zarif wrote.

A special working group has been established by the Foreign Ministry to facilitate consular affairs for the victims of the crash.
 
Zarif also said in his tweet, “In Oman today, met with Canadian FM @FP_Champagne to discuss consular, technical & legal cooperation among nations impacted by #PS752 tragedy. Agreed on continued exchanges between respective experts.”

The passenger plane was accidently shot down on January 8, nearly four hours after the Iranian military fired dozens of missiles at the U.S. airbase in Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad five days earlier.

The Iranian military announced on January 11 morning that the plane had been mistaken for a cruise missile.

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.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Friday, “The plane crash was a bitter incident. Losing Iranian youths and people is a bitter incident.”

The Leader added, “To the same extent we grieved over the plane incident, the enemies cheered.” 

He also said, “There are ambiguities in the plane incident. We thank the commanders for explaining it to the people, but this issue must be pursued and reoccurrence of similar incidents must be prevented seriously.”

Ayatollah Khamenei also expressed sympathies with the bereaved families and thanked them for standing up to the enemy’s conspiracy and speaking out against the enemy’s desire.

NA/PA

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