Ukraine's Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Yevhen Yenin says Kyiv is preparing to file a lawsuit against the Islamic Republic in international courts over Tehran's lack of cooperation after the downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane in January.
Speaking to Radio Farda on Tuesday, July 7, Yenin asserted that since the tragedy occurred 180 days ago, Iran's cooperation in investigating the case has not been" satisfactory."
While insisting on his country's commitment to resolving the issue through "negotiations" with Iran, Yenin asserted: "If our efforts fail, we will be left with no option other than turning to international institutions."
As Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 took off from Tehran's Imam Khomeini international airport on January 8, heading for Kyiv, two missiles were fired at the plane, which crashed near the capital city, killing all 167 people aboard.
The crash victims included 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, eleven Ukrainians, ten Sweden, four Afghans, three Germans, and three Britons. Only after three days did the Guard take responsibility for the tragedy.
It took Iran three days to admit that the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps was responsible for the deadly attack.
Tehran has repeatedly blamed "human mistake" for the deadly incident but recently referred to an error in its air defense system.
Ukraine and other countries whose citizens were killed in the downing of the airliner are still waiting for Iran to keep its promise and send the black boxes of flight 752 to France by July 20.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohsen Baharvand told Mizan News Agency last Tuesday that the doomed plane's black boxes would be transported to France on July 20.
However, Baharvand accused Ukraine of "wasting" time, adding: "We were going to send the flight recorders to Ukraine, which they claimed could be deciphered there, but they wasted our time and did not enter into negotiations."
Firing back, the Ukrainian deputy foreign minister said, "It is unfortunate that the Iranian authorities are announcing their readiness to cooperate, but they do not take any steps through the official channels."
At the same time, Yenin, told reporters that Ukraine welcomes deciphering the black boxes in France to ensure the independence of technical investigation into the case.
Stressing that the heat and crash have damaged both black boxes, Yenin noted that French experts could also determine whether the flight recorders were deliberately damaged or not.
In another part of his interview with Radio Farda, Yenin disclosed that Ukrainian experts were set to go to France and investigate the case there.
Furthermore, Yenin expressed his dissatisfaction with keeping the flight recorders in Iran, noting that Ukraine is demanding Iran to respect its legal responsibility, ensure that similar accidents do not recur, and pay compensation to the victims' relatives and Ukrainian airlines."
He also expressed hope that Iran would take a "constructive position" in the case and stressed that Kyiv preferred not to go to the international courts.
Elaborating on the issue, the Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister reminded, "Precedents show that negotiations between countries last an average of two years, but going to court and the International Court of Justice may take up to ten years."