Iran had no intention to hide causes of Ukrainian plane crash: Shamkhani

January 12, 2020 - 19:32

TEHRAN - Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), said on Sunday that Iran had no intention to hide causes of the Ukrainian plane crash on Wednesday.

“From the beginning of the crash, we had no intention to hide its causes,” he said during a memorial service for two victims of the crash.

It took time to announce the causes due to necessity to investigate all hypotheses, especially “possible actions of the enemies in jamming”, “hack of the systems” and “the issue of infiltration”, explained Shamkhani who served as defense minister in the Khatami administration from 1997 to 2005.

He also expressed sympathy with the families of the victims.

The passenger plane, with 176 people aboard, was mistakenly downed on Wednesday morning by the IRGC air defense system. It happened a few hours after Iran fired dozens of missiles at the U.S. airbase inside Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of Iranian Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on January 3.

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

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke via phone Saturday about the Ukrainian passenger jet, according to a readout of the phone call from the Canadian government.

According to CNN, Rouhani expressed "profound regret for the shooting down of the aircraft by the Iranian military."

Trudeau insisted on the need for a complete and thorough investigation, saying Canada was ready to deploy air safety experts to facilitate black box examination and DNA specialists to assist with victim identification and the return of remains to Canada.

Trudeau and Rouhani agreed "on the importance of de-escalation and dialogue to reduce tensions and promote stability in the region." Trudeau said the incident is "an example of how heightened tensions can have tragic consequences for innocent civilians."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday that Iran pleaded guilty to shooting down the plane even before completion of international commission’s work.

Ukraine International Airlines said in a statement that the plane was a Boeing 737-800 NG, "built in 2016 and delivered directly to the airline from the manufacturer."