Ukraine has said Iran is dragging its feet on investigating the downing of a Ukrainian airliner near Tehran in January by not sharing information and not responding to requests for cooperation. Deputy Prosecutor General Gyunduz Mamedov told Reuters about that, in written comments ahead of a third round of talks on the crash next month.
“Our preliminary legal assessment of the tragedy is a particularly grave crime, where the killing of 176 civilians took place using military equipment,” Mamedov said.
“The maximum punishment is life imprisonment, compensation payments to the victims and to airlines for the destroyed plane. This position of ours is unacceptable for Iran, but they do nothing to provide us with details and facts for a different classification of the crime.”
Mamedov said Ukraine would pursue a “parallel path” if its demands were not met, without specifying what that meant.
He said Iran had not responded to requests for joint investigative actions or for permission to contact Iranian military prosecutors directly.
A governing panel at the United Nations’ aviation agency urged Iran last week to accelerate its investigation, while an Iranian official said a final report on the crash would be circulated soon.
Mamedov said he wanted to see results at the next round of talks on Dec. 3.
“We still do not have an official documented position from Iran,” he said. “They don’t say ‘no’, but their ‘yes’ does not bring a development.”
As we reported earlier, Boeing 737 of Ukraine's International Airlines, flight PS752 with 176 people aboard crashed in Tehran, not far from Imam Khomeini airport. No one, including 11 Ukrainians survived the tragedy.
The aircraft was on its way from Tehran to Kyiv. The crash took place soon after the takeoff. Iranian media reported that, quoting the airport administration. The officials said that the reason for the crash was a "technical malfunction" of the plane's engine. The Ukrainian air company that owned the aircraft denied that there was such a malfunction; a pilot's mistake was ruled out, too.
Initially, Iran denied that any claims of the plane being shot down by a missile made no sense. Later, the government and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps recognized that the aircraft was downed by a missile, as the country's anti-aircraft defense systems were on high alert.