On January 8, 2020, Ukraine International Airlines 752 crashed. The plane, a Boeing 737-800, was headed from Tehran to Kiev, and had 176 people onboard.
Iran changed stance on crash pretty quickly
Immediately following the crash, Iranian authorities claimed that the plane suffered an engine failure, and that was the cause of the crash. As Ali Abedzadeh, Chief of the Civil Aviation Organization of Iran, said:
“One thing is for certain, this airplane was not hit by a missile.”
This was suspicious — typically an aviation authority wouldn’t come out immediately after a crash and claim that they know what the cause was, especially since there was no ATC audio or anything else to support that this was the cause.
Not only that, but to explicitly state that the crash wasn’t caused by something is even more suspicious, which made it pretty obvious that this was a cover-up, or something.
Sure enough, a few days later Iran admitted that they shot down the plane. As Iran’s foreign minister explained at the time:
“A sad day. Preliminary conclusions of internal investigation by Armed Forces:
Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster
Our profound regrets, apologies and condolences to our people, to the families of all victims, and to other affected nations.”
Iran knew all along they shot down the plane
While Iran at least admitted to what they did a few days after it happened (which is better than not admitting it at all, even if it’s obvious), it sure seemed likely that they knew all along. Well, now we now know that for sure.
Audio has now been released of a conversation between an air traffic controller in the tower at Tehran Khomeini International Airport and the pilot of an Aseman Airlines flight that was flying from Shiraz to Tehran, and witnessed the situation during approach. As reported by Aerotime:
The pilot reported to the tower “flares on route, like a missile” and asked if anything like that was expected. “We were not informed of this,” the controller said, adding “what does this light look like?” The captain answered “that surely is the light from a missile.” Following this brief exchange, the controller tried to hail the flight crew of the Ukrainian flight PS752 multiple times – to no avail.
Seconds later, the pilot reported seeing an explosion.
Here’s the ATC audio, if you’d like to hear it:
This media was released by the Ukrainian media, and Iran’s response has been as follows:
- Iran has confirmed the authenticity of the audio (not that there was much doubt)
- Iran has criticized Ukraine for releasing this audio, threatening not to participate further in the investigation, and saying “this action by the Ukrainians makes us not want to give them any more evidence”
It’s ridiculous if they’re going to continue with this cover-up, threatening not to cooperate if the truth is exposed.
Iranian authorities said that the armed forces were reluctant to report the information about the crash, and allegedly Iranian President Hassan Rouhani threatened to resign if the armed forces kept leaving him in the dark. We don’t know how true that is, of course, given that they haven’t exactly been honest about everything else.
I don’t think anyone is surprised to hear that the government of Iran knew all along that they shot down the Ukraine 737. Of course we don’t know who exactly in the government knew when, but at some point that’s also not anyone else’s problem.
At this point they’ve answered most questions about why the lies allegedly happened, though I still haven’t seen any explanation of why Iranian authorities immediately claimed that the plane had an engine failure.
Withholding information is bad enough, but outright lying and making something up is even worse, in my opinion.
(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)