Medical staff at the site of the crash of a Ukraine passenger jet shot down by the Iranian military outside Tehran, Iran on January 8, 2020
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has called on Iranian counterpart Mohammad Zarif to provide full information about the Iran Revolutionary Guards’ downing of a Ukraine International Airline flight on January 8.
Two missiles brought down the Boeing 737-800 soon after it took off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini international Airport, killing all 176 passengers and crew. More than 100 of the victims were Iranian citizens.
The Iranian military covered up the shootdown for three days, blaming “catastrophic engine failure”. Finally, commanders and President Hassan Rouhani admitted the downing, sparking days of mass protests.
The Civil Aviation Organization finally gave an explanation on July 12, blamed a “chain of hazard” on a misalignment of a military radar system and lack of communication between the air defense operator and his commanders.
Iranian authorities balked at handing over the flight’s black boxes, finally relenting and handing over the data recorders to French officials on July 17.
With the explanation quickly falling apart, the Iranian military finally told President Rouhani on January 10 of the firing of missiles. The Supreme Leader’s involvement in events is still unclear.
Early the next morning, the military and Rouhani acknowledged that the jet had been shot down in a “disastrous mistake”.
With more than 100 Iranians among the victims, The admission sparked several days of protests on Tehran’s streets.
However, with Iranian authorities refusing to give up the jet’s black box for inspection and moving debris from the crash site, a detailed reconstruction was not possible.
In a phone call on Wednesday, Kuleba told Zarif that a final report on the shootdown should respect all international standards.
The ministers also discussed the first round of negotiations on compensation to families of the victims.
The Ukraine Foreign Ministry summarized in a statement:
The Ukrainian foreign minister stressed that at the next round of talks in October, Ukraine expects to receive all the necessary information about the circumstances of the plane crash from the Iranian side. According to him, after establishing all the facts about the tragedy, it will be possible to start calculating the amount of compensation.
Zarif said Iran is ready to pay compensation, with the settlement as a step to alleviate grief.
On Tuesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Mohsen Baharvand balked at the insistence of Ukraine and Canada, whose citizens also died on the flight, for full compensation. He said “international documents and treaties will be the criteria” for an Iranian payment.
The Foreign Ministers are scheduled to meet in October, amid a second round of talks between officials in Tehran.