We Seek the Truth, Says the Head of Ukrainian Delegation in Tehran
By Radio Farda October 21, 2020
Under no circumstances will Ukraine accept money in exchange for covering up the truth, the head of the Ukrainian delegation in Tehran, Yevhenii Yenin, told Radio Farda.
The delegation was in Iran for the second round of talks between Iran and Ukraine over the downing of a Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) passenger plane on January 8, 2020 over Tehran.
Iran and Ukraine held their previous round of talks in July in Kyiv.
According to Ukrainian diplomats, the second round of talks with Iran over Flight 752 focused on examining a variety of technical, military, and criminal issues and applying international legal documents to clarify the details of the downing of the three-year-old UIA's Boeing.
On Monday, October 19, military and technical working groups discussed the issue, and a judicial working group convened on Tuesday morning. The consultations' results were presented during a plenary session of the two delegations chaired by Yenin and Mohsen Baharvand, Deputy Foreign Ministers of Ukraine and Iran.
Speaking exclusively to Radio Farda, Yenin said, "We have explicitly told the Iranian side that our main goal is not to receive compensation, but to achieve the truth. Under no circumstances should we accept money in exchange for concealing the truth. First of all, we need to know the truth, and then we will calculate the compensation based on the details of the events that led to the downing of the Ukrainian plane."
Speaking to the relatives of the victims gathered in front of the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday, Baharvand rejected any "lying" on the Iranian side and asserted that he had no authority to determine the ambiguities of the deadly crash.
However, he once again emphasized that a "human error" led to the downing of Flight 752, and that the Iranians were trying to reassure the Ukrainian side on that point.
Nevertheless, Canada and Ukraine have repeatedly said they did not accept the 'human error" scenario.
At the end of the talks in Tehran, Yenin expressed hope that Iran would complete the final report per international regulations.
He also welcomed Tehran's readiness to pay equal compensation to all victims' relatives, regardless of their nationality.
The spokesman for the Iranian government, Ali Rabiei, announced on Tuesday that Tehran would pay compensation to the Ukrainian plane victims' relatives under international conventions, fair precedence, and without discrimination.
Rabiei also shared the separation of the case's criminal aspects from its legal and compensation elements, adding that an investigation is underway at the military court, and when completed, the indictment will be issued and referred to the military court.
Radio Farda sources linked to the Ukrainian negotiators say that Iran's position during the second round of talks was different from its approach in previous months. If Iran fulfills its promises, the other issues of the case would be resolved through dialogue, the sources said.
The next round of talks will take place within a month with other countries involved in the tragedy.
In January, the 737-800 took off from Tehran's Imam Khomeini international airport heading to Kyiv when two missiles were fired at the plane. The Boeing jet crashed near the capital city, killing all 167 people aboard.
The crash victims included 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, eleven Ukrainians, ten Sweden, four Afghans, three Germans, and three Britons. Only after three days did the Guard take responsibility for the tragedy.
It took Iranian authorities three days to admit that the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps had fired two missiles at the passenger plane.
Since January 11, the IRGC and other Iran authorities have insisted that the missiles were "accidentally" and "mistakenly" fired at the UIA's plane.
Copyright (c) 2020. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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