‘Politicization of Ukrainian plane incident will be of no help’

January 19, 2020 - 19:44

TEHRAN - Abdolreza Faraji-Rad, Iran’s former ambassador to Norway, has said that politicization of the Ukrainian plane crash will be of no help, warning it will just add to complications.

“Politicizing the incident will just add to complications and will be of no help,” Faraji-Rad  told IRNA in an interview published on Sunday.

“For example, there will be no need to take the case to the [UN] Security Council and issue a resolution on it,” he added.

He said, “Iran is cooperating to settle the issue. We can prevent exacerbation of tension and complications through active diplomacy.”

The former ambassador called for the expansion of dialogue and technical consultations among the involved sides.

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

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also said in a tweet on Friday that politicization of the Ukrainian passenger plane crash must be rejected.

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

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 Iranian Foreign Ministry to facilitate consular affairs for the victims of the crash.

The passenger plane was accidentally shot down on January 8, nearly four hours after the Iranian military fired dozens of missiles at a U.S. air base 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.

On Friday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, “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.