Kyiv: Iran has broken off contact on downed airliner investigation

During a session of the parliamentary committee on law enforcement activity, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Ruslan Riaboshapka said that he has reached out to the Iranian prosecutor general three times, but has not received a reply.

According to Riaboshapka, the requests were for international legal assistance. Ukraine has requested the evidence used by the Iranian investigation as the basis for the arrests that have been made in connection with the crime.

“Unfortunately, there is not yet any direct communication with the Iranian law enforcement organs. Probably the only way we can achieve progress is the diplomatic route,” he said, as cited by Ukrayinska Pravda.

Riaboshapka confirmed that the aircraft’s black boxes are still in Iran. Ukraine wants the opportunity to decipher them, but Iran is ignoring all requests.

The prosecutor general also said that Ukraine has proposed that the countries whose citizens were killed in the catastrophe should create a joint investigation group.

On January 8, a Boeing 737 belonging to Ukraine International Airlines crashed just outside the Tehran airport. All 176 people on board were killed. On January 11, the Iranian government admitted that the plane had been inadvertently shot down by the Iranian military with an anti-air missile.

On February 2, the Ukrainian media published a recording of a conversation between the air traffic controller and the second pilot of an Iranian plane belonging to the company Aseman Airlines. The Iranian pilot witnessed both the launch of the missile and the explosion. Iran subsequently stopped sharing evidence with Ukraine.

  Ukraine International Airlines, Iran, Ukraine