Press TV – Iran’s top security official says the crash of a Ukrainian plane near the capital Tehran in January that occurred due to human error should not be allowed to turn into a political controversy under the influence of some “spiteful elements.”
Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani made the remarks in a telephone conversation with Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, on Monday.
The Iranian official extended his sincere condolences and sympathy to the families of Ukrainian nationals who lost their lives in the crash.
Ukraine’s Boeing 737-800 was mistakenly shot down by the Iranian air defenses on January 8, when it was on its way to the Ukrainian capital from Tehran.
All the 176 people on board the plane operated by Ukraine International Airlines died in the incident, which came hours after Iran launched missile attacks on US military bases in neighboring Iraq. Most of the passengers on the plane were Iranians returning to Canada for either work or study after spending winter holidays in Iran.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Shamkhani said Iran was determined to cooperate with related parties in the accident, adding, “Shortly after the crash, the two countries established close cooperation and Ukrainian experts were the first group entering Iran, starting technical and field investigations with no restriction.”
Shamkhani invited Danilov to travel to Iran to jointly review the issue with the help of both national security bodies. “Achieving agreed technical assessments can significantly help finalize the case in an expert and non-political setting,” he said.
The Ukrainian top security official, for his part, conveyed his condolences and sympathy to Iranians, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
The incident came as Iranian air defenses were at the highest level of alert following the country’s missile attacks against the US bases, which came in retaliation for Washington’s assassination of senior Iranian commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.