Shamkhani phones Ukrainian counterpart over January plane crash investigations

February 11, 2020 - 17:46

TEHRAN - Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani, in a phone conversation on Monday, briefed his Ukrainian counterpart Alexei Danilov over the ongoing investigations into the passenger plan that was mistakenly downed by Iran’s air defense on January 8.

Shamkhani pointed to Iran’s willingness to fully cooperate with the parties involved in the incident, saying, “There has been close collaboration between Iran and Ukraine since the beginning of the incident and the Ukrainian experts were the first group who arrived in Iran and were provided with necessary access to start their technical and field investigation without any restrictions.”

Insisting on preventing any misunderstanding and interference of other parties in the technical process of the investigation, Shamkhani noted, “This bitter incident was due to human error and we must not allow it to turn into a political controversy with the interference of biased elements.” 

He invited his Ukrainian counterpart to visit Tehran for the joint investigations regarding the incident by the national security agencies of the two countries. “Achieving a mutual technical assessment can yield the final result on this case in a professional and non-political environment.”

On January 11, the Armed Forces General Staff released a statement saying the Ukrainian passenger plane was mistakenly downed near Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport. 

176 people on board lost their lives.

The incident happened a few hours after Iran fired dozens of ballistic missiles at a U.S. airbase inside Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif expressed apologies and condolences to all who have been affected by the tragic crash, saying that “U.S. adventurism” has led to this disaster.

“Preliminary conclusions of internal investigation by Armed Forces: Human error at time of crisis caused by U.S. adventurism led to disaster,” Zarif tweeted on January 8.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressed deep condolences to the bereaved families, urging the military to launch investigations into the incident.

Ayatollah Khamenei ordered the Armed Forces General Staff to probe possible failures and shortcoming that led to such a “painful” incident.

The Leader asked relevant officials to devise a mechanism to prevent such incidents in the future.


MJ/PA

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