In a statement issued on Thursday, the Embassy of the Islamic Republic in Ukraine for the first time admitted that Iran has proposed a settlement to close the case of the country's Flight PS752 which Iran's Revolutionary Guard downed in January.
The statement says Iran is willing to resolve the issues related to the incident and "therefore, underlines that it is necessary [Ukraine] expedites its response to the proposal officially submitted to Kiev three months ago".
The Ukrainian passenger plane was hit by two missiles shortly after taking off from Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport on January 8. All 176 passengers and crew members onboard were killed in the crash. It took Iranian authorities three days to finally admit that the Revolutionary Guard was responsible for firing the missiles at the plane.
Eugene Enin, Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine who is in charge of the case of the crash dossier, met with the Iranian Ambassador Manouchehr Moradi on Tuesday to discuss the matter. On Thursday he told Radio Farda that Iran's proposed MoU subjects the deciphering of the flight recorders to conditions but Ukraine has repeatedly announced that such no conditions are acceptable.
"We stress that examining the contents of the flight recorders is subject to the responsibilities that Iran has accepted in the framework of Montreal and Chicago conventions. They must submit the flight recorders to a country that can decode them if they are not able to do so themselves, Enin added.
According to Enin Ukraine demands a guarantee of implementation of international laws, explanation of the real cause of the incident -- whether human error or other reasons -- and punishment of those responsible for the incident.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry official in charge of the case also said Ukraine wants technical and criminal investigations to be conducted alongside the legal proceedings for which decoding the flight recorders is only one of the required steps.
Radio Farda disclosed the content of the proposal on April 14 on the basis of interviews with Ukrainian informed sources who had seen the proposal. The proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), contained a vague promise of compensation in return for Ukraine abandoning any further claims against Iran.
Radio Farda's sources said that the proposed MoU appeared to oblige Ukraine and the families of victims of flight 752 to waive their right to pursue the matter any further through courts and accept "human error" as the cause of the crash.
Commenting on the proposal, a Ukrainian aviation law expert told Radio Farda that Iran's aim was probably to separate Ukraine from the other countries with victims in the plane disaster.
The Ukrainian government has consistently rejected a separate deal with Iran and says its position has not changed. "We work for the result in close collaboration with colleagues from the International Disaster Relief Coordination Group. These are the ministers for foreign affairs of Canada, Sweden, Afghanistan and the United Kingdom, to establish justice, get compensation for families, and ensure a full, independent and transparent investigation under international law," Dmytro Kuleba told REF/RL's Ukrainian Service on April 17.
On April 16 the foreign ministers of Canada, Ukraine, Sweden, Afghanistan and the UK – members of the International Coordination and Response Group for the victims of Flight PS752 – issued a joint statement in which they said the members of the coordination would assure the families and loved ones of the victims that the group of ministers advocate for full accountability, transparency, justice, compensation, and a full, independent and transparent investigation.