Tehran Refutes Reports Claiming Zarif Concedes Truth About Downed Ukrainian Jet
TEHRAN (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 10th February, 2021) The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday denounced the Canadian CBC news broadcaster's recent article, which alleged that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was heard saying in an audio recording that the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752 was an intentional act.
On Tuesday, the media outlet claimed that the Canadian government and security agencies were examining the audio recording, on which a man identified as Zarif said that there were a "thousand possibilities" to explain the downing of the jet in January 2020, including a deliberate attack.
"The allegations made in this article are inaccurate and untrue. Many words attributed to Zarif fundamentally do not correspond to his statements, the statements about the existence of this recording do not correspond to reality," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a statement.
The diplomat called on the Canadian authorities to not spread rumors, in order to avoid deepening the grief of the families of those killed in the plane crash.
Khatibzadeh added that the technical investigation report was almost ready. Once finished, Canada will be able to openly express its views on the disaster, the diplomat noted.
According to the CBC News, the conversation that was heard on the audio recording in Farsi took place in the first months after the plane crash.
The Ukraine International Airlines' Kiev-bound fight crashed almost immediately after takeoff from Tehran on January 8, 2020. All 176 people aboard were killed, including nationals of Ukraine, Iran, Afghanistan, Canada, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Three days later, Iran admitted that the jet had been mistakenly shot down by its armed forces, who mistook it for a hostile cruise missile. The crash took place amid an escalating confrontation between Tehran and Washington following the US killing of prominent Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani in a targeted strike.