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Iran Press TV

Ukraine tried to politicize 2020 plane crash amid tensions with Russia, says Iran official

Iran Press TV

Sunday, 18 April 2021 10:06 AM

An informed official close to Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) says Ukraine has tried to politicize the January 2020 accidental downing of its passenger plane near Tehran in an attempt to mount pressure on Russia amid tensions between the two neighbors.

The official, whose name was not released, told Nour News on Sunday that Ukrainian officials had offered that Iran announce a technical glitch in its Russian-made Tor-M1 anti-aircraft defense system as the cause of the tragedy.

The Islamic Republic, however, rejected the proposal due to its non-compliance with the reality of the incident, after which Ukraine pursued the path of politicizing the issue, he added.

He also highlighted Iran's firm resolve to create transparency in all aspects of the plane crash, emphasizing that any attempt seeking to politically exploit the incident is inhuman and contrary to legal and technical procedures.

On January 8, 2020, the Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752, en route to Kiev and carrying mostly Iranians, crashed minutes after takeoff near the Iranian capital, killing all the 176 on board.

The plane was shot down by Iran's air defenses, which mistook the aircraft for a military target amid tensions between Tehran and Washington following the US assassination of top anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq days earlier.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian security official explained that Kiev also wanted to evade accusations regarding its role in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014.

Therefore, he said, Ukraine sought to blame both the MH17 and PS752 crashes on a problem in the Tor-M1 battery.

The official further stressed that Kiev wanted to increase pressure on Moscow amid the conflict in Crimea.

Relations between the two sides deteriorated when the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea rejoined Russia following a referendum in 2014. More than 90 percent of the participants in the referendum voted in favor of that unification.

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