Iran will no longer share evidence regarding the investigation into the January 8 crash of the Ukrainian airplane in Tehran with Ukraine after an audio clip from the investigation was leaked to national media. This was stated by the head of the accident investigation board of Iran's Civil Aviation Organization, Hassan Rezaeifar, on February 3, according to Reuters.
“The technical investigation team of the Ukrainian airline crash, in a strange move, published the secret audio file of the communications of a pilot of a plane that was flying at the same time as the Ukrainian plane,” Rezaeifar was quoted as saying by the semi-official Mehr news agency. “This action by the Ukrainians led to us not sharing any more evidence with them.”
The audio file was provided by the Iranian side to Ukrainian experts as part of the joint investigative team’s examination of the crash. The file was obtained by the TSN news service aired on the 1+1 TV channel, which belongs to oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky. TSN noted that they received the audio file from Ukraine’s special services.
The records of the conversation of the Tehran airport dispatcher with the pilot of the Iranian Aseman Airlines’ plane that was boarding when the Ukrainian International Airlines Boeing was taking off revealed that the pilot had seen the missile that shot down the plane. "It's definitely a rocket light. [...] We saw an explosion, a flash from the explosion," the pilot said.
The airport dispatcher was trying to contact the crew in the Ukrainian aircraft at the time, but they did not respond.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told TSN that he had heard the record. He stressed that it proves that the Iranian side knew immediately that the plane was shot down by a missile. He added that the record would be one of the important pieces of evidence to prove Iran's wrongdoing.
In the same interview, Zelenskyy also said that the President of Iran offered to pay $80,000 to each of the families of the Ukrainians that died in a crash but Ukraine refused because it’s "not enough".
“Of course, human life is not measured by any money, but we will press for bigger payments,” Zelenskyy stated.