PS752 — Ukraine Analyzes Black Box in Paris

  • "We have waited too long for the black boxes to be handed over for deciphering."
  • Minister Kuleba stressed that his country expects Iran to conduct a comprehensive criminal investigation and bring all those responsible to justice.
  • The Ukrainian Foreign Minister also announced the readiness of the Iranian side to travel to Kyiv to negotiate for compensation.

Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba says flight recorders from Ukraine International Airlines flight 752(PS752), which was shot down in Iran in January, were successfully decrypted in France yesterday. He said Ukraine expects an impartial investigation, justice, and compensation from Iran.

Dmytro Kuleba is the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine since August 29, 2019. He had been the Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the Council of Europe between 2016 and 2019.

“According to my information, it was a successful effort, but I’d like to emphasize that, despite all explanations we hear from the Iranian side, we have waited too long for the black boxes to be handed over for deciphering,” the minister said during an online briefing on Tuesday.

Mr. Kuleba went on to say that the issue should be addressed more broadly, not in the context of “human error.” According to him, the issue is “the performance of Iran’s airspace control system in general.”

“And when we hear arguments that air traffic was suspended, that it was impossible, I’d like to assure you that, in order to resolve the issue of transporting black boxes for decryption, both Ukraine and other countries affected were ready to take extraordinary measures, including sending an airplane so that those flight recorders could be decrypted in an authoritative laboratory as soon as possible.”

According to Minister Kuleba, the Ukrainian side wants to know whether the Iranian airspace control system was functioning at the time when the plane was shot down, whether it functioned correctly, whether there was any interference in its activities and what was the real reason that a peaceful Ukrainian plane was shot down over Iran. “Why was it the Ukrainian plane, and not other planes that were in the Iranian airspace in that time,” Kuleba asked.

The Need for a “Comprehensive Criminal Investigation”

Minister Kuleba stressed that his country expects Iran to conduct a comprehensive criminal investigation and bring all those responsible to justice. “We are still determined to work with the Iranian side,” he said.

The Ukrainian Foreign Minister also announced the readiness of the Iranian side to travel to Kyiv to negotiate for compensation. “The Iranian delegation is ready to enter Ukraine this week to negotiate reparations,” Kuleba said, according to information obtained by Ukraine on Monday.

“We have been emphasizing this meeting for a long time. We are ready for talks and we expect Iran to officially confirm the visit of its representatives and these talks will take place in Kiev this week.”

Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 (PS752) was a scheduled international passenger flight from Tehran to Kiev operated by Ukraine International Airlines, or UIA. On 8 January 2020, the Boeing 737-800 operating the route was shot down shortly after takeoff from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran, which attributed it to human error.

According to the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, the information on the black boxes of the downed plane was successfully extracted yesterday. The ISNA news agency writes that the technical delegation of the Islamic Republic Aviation Organization is in Paris, and “in joint cooperation and effort with the French side, has begun the re-reading of the boxes of the crashed Ukrainian aircraft.”

Iran initially refused to deliver the downed black boxes, and it took six months before it finally agreed to send them to France for re-reading. A Boeing 752 flight over Ukraine crashed at 4:30 AM on January 9, shortly after taking off from Tehran International Airport for Kiev, when two rockets were fired by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. All 167 people on board were killed.

Officials in the Islamic Republic of Iran, after three days of hiding the cause of the crash and publishing untrue reports, finally acknowledged that the crash was due to two rockets fired. Since then, Iran has always emphasized “human error,” and the mistake of the defense operator. In its latest report, Iran said that the cause of the shooting was due to a “major error” in the orientation of the defense, and a “105-degree radar deviation.”

The report’s conclusion for Iran was that the European Aviation Safety Agency immediately warned passenger planes flying over Iran that they were in danger on the country’s air defenses due to “misidentification.”

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Joyce Davis

My history goes back to 2002 and I  worked as a reporter, interviewer, news editor, copy editor, managing editor, newsletter founder, almanac profiler, and news radio broadcaster.

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