TEHRAN (Iran News) – Ukraine’s deputy foreign minister reportedly claimed on Tuesday that a Ukrainian plane that was taking part in evacuation efforts of the country’s citizens from Afghanistan was hijacked and flown to Iran, but the claim was later denied by the country’s Foreign Ministry.
“Last Sunday, our plane was hijacked by other people. On Tuesday, the plane was practically stolen from us, it flew into Iran with an unidentified group of passengers onboard instead of airlifting Ukrainians,” Yevgeny Yenin said, according to the Russian TASS news agency.
A Ukrainian plane landed at the Shahid Hasheminejad International Airport in Mashhad in northeast Iran for refueling last night (August 23), spokesman for Iranian Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) Mohammad Hassan Zibakhsh said, Trend reports, citing Iranian media.
Zibakhsh said that the plane flew in the direction of Kyiv after refueling.
“According to the inspection of the Iranian Civil Aviation Organization, the plane landed at Kyiv airport at 21:50 Iranian time (GMT- 3:30),” he added.
Zibakhsh emphasized that the hijacking of the plane to Iran is being denied by the Iranian Civil Aviation Organization.
“There are no hijacked Ukrainian planes in Kabul or elsewhere. The information about the ‘hijacked plane’ that is being circulated by some media outlets is not true,” Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko told the local RBC news agency.
Reportedly, last week a Ukrainian plane took off from Afghanistan. It also landed at Iran’s Urmia Airport for refueling and then flew to Kyiv.
Ukrainians have a long history of spreading misinformation about Iran, particularly in the case of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 which was accidentally downed in January 2020 near Tehran.
Mohsen Baharvand, former deputy foreign minister and current Iran’s ambassador to the UK, who was in charge of negotiating with the Ukrainians and Canadians about the case, told Tehran Times, “We have tried very hard to provide countries with data based on the law if they have a request. For one very obvious reason: We did not hide anything to deprive others of some information.
Therefore, if they wanted information, we provided it to the Ukrainians in accordance with the law, but the Ukrainians still want information that is neither known in principle nor can be provided in accordance with the law.
For example, they want information from our defense system that this information cannot be provided because it is related to the security of our country and is a part of military secrets and no country can provide this information to anyone.
At the same time, the information they ask of us, which we cannot provide, is an exception, because they ask for information that according to international law and the relevant convention, the judicial proceedings are within the jurisdiction of the country in whose territory the accident took place.”