TEHRAN -- A senior Iranian diplomat has blasted the unprofessional behavior of certain countries in dealing with the 2020 Ukrainian plane crash near Tehran.
Manoucher Moradi, the Iranian ambassador to Kiev, made the remarks after the third round of talks between Ukrainian and Iranian deputy foreign ministers came to an end “in a constructive and professional manner” after two days of intense negotiations.
“A wide range of issues were covered, including criminal proceedings and technical issues, including aviation, flight safety, and Iran’s final report,” Moradi wrote in a string of tweets.
He said the Ukrainian side confirmed the jurisdiction of the Iranian courts to hear the case. The Iranian delegation, he said, presented a report on technical issues and announced that after the accident, Tehran has made necessary arrangements to ensure that similar incidents would not occur.
“The Iranian side represented a report on measures taken by Iran’s judicial system to hold accountable those involved in the downing of the plane, and the Ukrainian side endorsed the qualification of the Iranian courts to investigate the case,” the ambassador wrote.
“The Iranian delegation also announced its readiness to pay $150,000 each in compensation to the families of the victims and asked the Ukrainian delegation to inform them,” he added.
The ambassador further dismissed a group formed by Britain, Canada and Sweden to make reparation claim against Iran over the downing of the Ukrainian jetliner.
Moradi said Tehran does not recognize the group, expressing the Islamic Republic’s dissatisfaction with such “unprofessional and hostile” stances towards the country.
Iran, however, is ready to hold bilateral talks with the countries that respect the country’s jurisdiction, sovereignty and political independence, he added.
According to the ambassador, Ukraine expressed willingness to hold more negotiations, while Iran underlined that it would only reply to “unanswered questions” within the framework of the Iranian law.
The Ukrainian plane was shot down with 176 people aboard on January 8, 2020 by Iran’s air defenses, which mistook the aircraft for a military target amid tensions between Tehran and Washington following the U.S. assassination of Iran’s top commander General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq.
Hours before the tragedy, Iran had launched a retaliatory missile strike against a U.S.-run base in western Iraq and put the country’s air defenses on high alert due to increased American aerial activity in the aftermath of the strike.
Iran acknowledged days later that the mismanagement of an air defense unit’s radar system by its operator was the key human error that led to the accident.
Tehran has promised that all those culpable in the incident would face justice and allocated 200 million euros for compensation to the victim families.