The Iranian foreign ministry spokesman says UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial or arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard has no authority to comment about the Ukrainian plane crash in Iran.
In a statement on Wednesday, Saeed Khatibzadeh explained that the incident is outside the UN official’s remit based on her mission objectives stipulated in a UN Human Rights Council resolution.
“In international law, there are specific as well as precise legal and technical frameworks to look into this issue, and the rapporteur’s sphere of activity has nothing to do with these regulations and frameworks; rather, the rapporteur’s unwarranted involvement might have an unconstructive impact on the legal procedures as well,” Khatibzadeh said.
“She has put forward numerous points indicating the information which she had received and was the base of her report was distorted, tainted with numerous mistakes, biased and irrelevant,” he noted.
“Accordingly, some charges have been levelled against the Islamic Republic of Iran without any valid evidence and documents,” he added.
“It specifically seems that she has got involved in this issue hastily, and the result of this hasty action was an unprofessional, invalid and undocumented text which has resulted in questions and ambiguities about the motive behind this move,” Khatibzadeh explained.
He underlined that even if Callamard considered reviewing the case within her purview, she could have waited until a technical report on the incident as well as an indictment for the accused were issued.
“A technical report on the incident was drawn up in accordance with international standards on December 29, 2020 and sent to relevant countries,” Khatibzadeh said.
“So far, three countries have sent to the relevant authority their technical viewpoints about this report. Most of those views confirmed the technical report,” the spokesman explained.
“Moreover, based on comments made by the relevant official, the final report will be made public by the end of the current Persian Year (ending March 20, 2021),” Khatibzadeh said.
“The report, which contains hundreds of pages, precisely, professionally and comprehensively deals with factors contributing to the accident and other relevant issues,” he explained.
Khatibzadeh said an indictment for those accused in the case is about to be issued by Iranian judicial authorities.
He said the court will soon begin looking into charges against the accused once the case is completed at the military prosecutor’s office.
“Maybe one of the reasons of this unwarranted haste is her resignation from her post as special rapporteur, and by issuing an immature and impetuous text, she may have wanted to turn the issue into a fait accompli for her successor, or she may have received promises for new job positions at some nongovernmental organizations in return for her move to issue this politically-motivated text,” Khatibzadeh said.
“Given that the rapporteur’s action was outside the purview of her responsibilities and overlooked the international technical and legal mechanism for looking into air accidents, the text is not effective whatsoever. Nevertheless, irrespective of her motive and regardless of the main issue, i.e., the rapporteur’s not having the authority to look into the incident, the Islamic Republic of Iran has, in a goodwill gesture, prepared detailed answers to the questions and ambiguities raised and will present them soon,” he said.