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Iran Press TV

Iran slams Ukraine's leak of recording related to downed plane

Iran Press TV

Monday, 03 February 2020 6:05 PM

Iranian authorities have slammed the airing of recording in Ukraine related to a plane crash last month in Iran, saying the move would cause Tehran to stop sharing further information with Kiev over the incident.

A senior official at Iran's Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) said on Monday that Ukrainians had violated the confidentiality rules surrounding a joint investigation into the downing of the Boeing 737-800 on January 8, an incident that killed all 176 people on board the plane which was on its route to Kiev.

Hassan Rezayi Far, who heads accident investigation department at CAO, said it was a "bizarre move" by a Ukrainian TV channel to release the audio file on Sunday.

The recording contained conversations between the pilot of a domestic flight arriving in Tehran and staff at air traffic control denoting that there had been missiles flying in the skies of Tehran at the time of the plane crash.

"This file was one of a collection of evidences given to the group of Ukrainian experts (who were members of) the joint team investigating aviation accident," said Rezayi Far told Mehr news agency.

"This move by the Ukrainians compelled us not to share any further evidence with them," he added.

Ukrainian authorities have used the audio to claim that Iran immediately knew after the incident that the plane has been shot down by its air defenses, saying a three-day delay in accepting responsibility was suspicious.

However, Iranian authorities have repeatedly said that a delayed admission was natural given that the incident had taken place following Iran's firing of missiles at US military bases in neighboring Iraq.

Ukraine has demanded that flight recorders of the plane, which was operated by Ukraine International Airlines, be handed over to Kiev.

Tehran has yet to accept the request, saying the content of the recorders should be downloaded and analyzed inside Iran as the country where the incident has taken place.

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