Iran says ready to hold talks with Ukraine over plane incident

June 10, 2020 - 19:32

TEHRAN - Deputy Foreign Minister for International and Legal Affairs Mohsen Baharvand said on Tuesday that Iran is ready to hold talks with Ukraine over the plane crash incident.

“Iran is ready to hold talks with the Ukrainian side in order to settle the issues of black box of the plane and indemnity to the families of the victims,” Baharvand said during a meeting with Ukrainian Ambassador to Iran Sergei Burdyliak.

Burdyliak said Ukraine welcomes talks.

On January 8, a Ukrainian airliner was shot down shortly after taking off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport. 

The Ukrainian passenger plane, with 176 people aboard, was mistaken for an invading missile. The tragic incident happened a few hours after Iran fired missiles at a U.S. air base in Iraq in retaliation for the January 3 assassination of General Qassem Soleimani. Following the retaliation attack, the Iranian military had been put on high alert. 

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

Iranian Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaeili announced on Tuesday that six people have been arrested over the Ukrainian plane crash incident.

“Six persons were arrested in this respect. Three of them are out on bail and three others are under arrest. This continuation of arresting after about six months shows our determination in dealing with the issue,” Esmaeili said at a press conference.

He also said that the families of the victims can file complaint and so far 70 families have done so.

Baharvand also said on Saturday that Iran is ready to deliver the black box of the downed plane to a French or any other foreign company capable of decoding it.

“According to our investigations, Iran, Ukraine, and many other countries are not capable of decoding the black box due to the aircraft’s modern technology,” Mehr quoted Baharvand as saying late on Saturday.

“Iran can deliver it to a French or any other foreign company capable of decoding it but we have to make sure that there are no risks of abuse of the black box,” he added.

He stated that talks with Ukraine on transferring the black box to its intended destination for decryption are underway but not finalized.

According to Baharvand, technical investigations in Iran are on their final stages and the Islamic Republic is well informed of the details of the incident. 

“We do believe that decoding the black box will add nothing special to Iran’s investigation about the incident,” he asserted.

“Our investigations are comprehensively conducted and we know exactly what has occurred to the flight,” the deputy foreign minister added.

He also pointed out that Iran has had warm technical cooperation with other countries on the Ukrainian flight issue and the subject has not been politicized at all.

NA/PA
 

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