CBC News reported on Tuesday that the Canadian government and security agencies are reviewing an audio recording in which a man — identified by sources as Iran’s foreign minister — discusses the possibility that the destruction of Flight PS752 was an intentional act.
The individual is heard saying on the recording that there are a “thousand possibilities” to explain the downing of the jet, including a deliberate attack involving two or three “infiltrators” — a scenario he said was “not at all unlikely.”
In a statement on Wednesday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said many of the statements attributed to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are basically not compatible with the language that he commonly uses.
“The claim that such a tape exists is not true,” he said.
“Of course, everyone knows that Dr. Zarif, in his meetings and official contacts in the days and weeks following the catastrophe of the downing of the Ukrainian aircraft, including in his contact and meeting with the Canadian foreign minister, stressed the necessity of reviewing all possibilities surrounding the reasons and conditions of this tragedy, and electronic interference or the presence of infiltrators could be part of these possibilities,” he said.
“This viewpoint does not belong to Dr. Zarif only; rather, as official remarks (including the ones made at the Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission) show, the country’s security authorities have all reviewed these possibilities and finally arrived at the conclusion that a disastrous human error was the cause of the tragedy,” Khatibzadeh underlined.
“Accordingly, proceedings into the case are underway at competent judicial bodies of the Armed Forces,” the spokesman explained.
“Investigations into air accidents is a completely specialized and technical issue, and by rumour-mongering and politically-motivated moves, one cannot force public opinion to accept a result which is aimed at serving wicked political objectives,” he said.
“We want Canada not to add to the sufferings and grief of the bereaved families with such moves and by spreading rumours,” he said.
Khatibzadeh also touched upon measures adopted to follow up on the incident.
“The report on the accident by the Iranian Civil Aviation Organization is not a journalistic report based on conjecture which is drawn up based on the request of a given country,” he said.
“Rather, it is a technical and specialized report written by impartial and competent experts,” Khatibzadeh added.
He said the Iranian team looking into the incident prepared the report after consultations with seasoned experts from countries such as Canada the US and France and sent it to the relevant countries, which had two months to inform Iran of their opinion and possible technical issues about the report.
“This two-month opportunity has now ended, and the questions by other countries as well as answers given by the Iranian probe team will be made public,” he said.
He urged the Canadian government to behave professionally instead of kicking up a fuss for nothing and present any viewpoints it may have in the form of specialized reports.
CBC claims that the individual is heard saying the truth will never be revealed by the highest levels of Iran’s government and military.
“There are reasons that they will never be revealed,” he says in Persian. “They won’t tell us, nor anyone else, because if they do it will open some doors into the defence systems of the country that will not be in the interest of the nation to publicly say.”
On Jan. 8, 2020, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 in the skies over Tehran with two surface-to-air missiles, killing all 176 people aboard.
CBC News says it has listened to the recording of the private conversation, which took place in the months immediately following the destruction of Flight PS752.