Iranian Spokesman Says Surprised by London Meeting on Plane Crash
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said he was surprised at a meeting among countries whose citizens died in an unintentional downing of a Ukrainian flight in Iran, calling on all sides to avoid turning the tragic human incident into a political issue.
In remarks on Friday, Mousavi expressed condolences with the families of the victims of the deadly crash last week and said he was surprised by some foreign officials’ remarks during the Thursday meeting in London.
The Islamic Republic has had very good and close cooperation with delegations dispatched from the countries involved in the plane crash, he said.
It is strange that after taking initial measures and (Iran’s) full cooperation, the Canadian foreign minister makes such remarks and asks for a consular access, which was agreed upon and delivered accordingly by Iran on the first day after the incident due to human aspects of the issue, he said.
Mousavi further emphasized that over the past years, the Islamic Republic has announced to Canada to let consular representative offices be active in the two countries but the Canadian government has refused the issue due to the US pressure on Iranian citizens.
“Now, it is unclear what motives are behind these comments and demands,” the spokesman added.
He also called on all sides not to make human issues, particularly this tragic accident, into an excuse for political gestures for the sake of the bereaved families.
The remarks came as representatives of Canada, Ukraine, Sweden, Afghanistan, and Britain, whose citizens were killed in the tragic Ukrainian plane crash which was unintentionally downed by Iranian defense systems last Wednesday, held a meeting in London.
In a statement, the countries asked Tehran to pay compensation, noting that Tehran should hold a "thorough, independent and transparent international investigation open to grieving nations."
On Saturday, the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces said the downing of the plane took place following Iranian missile strikes on a military base of the criminal US regime in Iraq and amid a possible threat of hostile military actions.
The victims of the crash included 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans, and three British nationals.
All 179 people on board the Boeing 737, including nine crew, were killed when the jetliner crashed shortly after takeoff from the airport on Wednesday morning.
The plane operated by Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) was bound for Kiev.