The Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine on Monday said his country expects "an immediate explanation from Iran" about a controversial statement made by an Iranian lawmaker about the downing of a Ukrainian airliner in January.
On Sunday the mid-level cleric and lawmaker, Hassan Norouzi, said the Iranian military had been right in shooting down a Ukrainian passenger plane in January because it was no longer "under the control of the tower and appeared to be controlled by America".
He also claimed that the same plane had been to Israel the week before the incident and appeared to have been tampered with and rigged there.
"We expect an immediate explanation from Iran on this statement. It shows full disrespect for human lives. Dozens of families from Iran, Ukraine, Canada, Sweden, UK, and Afghanistan lost their loved ones in the attack against [the] defenceless civilian aircraft," Vadym Prystaiko wrote in a tweet.
The passenger plane was downed over Tehran on January 3 by two missiles fired by a Revolutionary Guard air defense unit killing all 176 passengers and crew members. The Revolutionary Guard took "full responsibility" for the incident after three days but has attributed the shooting to "human error".
Norouzi also claimed that no one had been arrested over the incident, but on Monday the Head of Armed Forces Judiciary Organization of Iran, refuted the statement and said one individual who presumably fired the missiles is held in detention and some others have been subpoenaed.
He did not make any comments about Norouzi's more controversial remarks about the reason for firing missiles at the plane.
Iran has also refused to hand over the black boxes of the downed airliner to other countries for decoding despite not having the technology of reading the data in Iran.