Wednesday, April 17, 2024
HomeIran News NowIran Opposition & ResistanceNewly Leaked Documents: Iranian Regime's Deception Unveiled in Flight PS752 Tragedy 

Newly Leaked Documents: Iranian Regime’s Deception Unveiled in Flight PS752 Tragedy 

Ukrainian Flight PS752

A group of Iranian dissidents recently managed to seize control of 210 websites, software applications, servers, and data repositories from the repressive Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Iran’s regime. The group, known as Ghiam ta Sarnegouni (uprising until the regime overthrow), disclosed numerous records, including those related to the downing of flight PS752.  

On January 8, the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) shot down a Ukrainian airliner, killing all 176 people abroad.  Despite bogus claims by the regime and its pundits that the downing resulted from “human error,” the recently obtained evidence indicates that this devastating incident could have been averted. 

On January 8, the IRGC utilized surface-to-air missiles to bring down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752. Over the course of three consecutive days, officials from the regime made attempts to attribute the crash to a technical malfunction in the aircraft’s engines. However, subsequent evidence, including video footage, conclusively proved that the IRGC was responsible for shooting down the plane.  

On January 11, the regime’s officials were ultimately compelled to acknowledge the crime. Both the regime’s then-president, Hassan Rouhani, and the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, claimed that they had been unaware of the incident. But new documents underline that they were not only aware but planned to “counter” the global reaction to this crime, or as the MFA’s leaked documents suggest, the “enemies’ propaganda.”  

The first document refers to a Supreme National Security Council meeting on January 21. According to this document, the “Sessions of the legal and political committees of the Supreme National Council were held on Tuesday, January 21, 2020, and Wednesday, January 22, 2020, in the afternoon. The sessions were presided over by Misters Alawi, acting Legal Deputy Legal, and Eirwani, Vice President of Foreign Policy and International Security of the Supreme National Security Council, as well as the representatives of the respective ministries, the General Staff of the Armed Forces,  Judiciary, the office of the Attorney General, Ministry of Intelligence, the legal deputy and the legal center of the president’s office, the National Defense University, the country’s national aviation, and the Military Prosecutor of Tehran.”  

The first document has three parts, explaining the procedures adopted by the Supreme National Security Council’s sessions on January 21 and 22.  

The first part suggests that for the regime, the most important issue was how to cover up the crime and coordination between different bodies.  

  1. The Most Important Approvals of the Supreme National Council’s Legal Committee  
  1. Insisting on accidental human error and trying to prevent this incident from being labeled as the system’s fault.  
  1. Contacting [victims’] family members and honoring humanitarian aspects while honoring justice and refusing to discriminate in terms of paying compensation.  
  1. A committee under the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with the presence of the representatives of the Aviation Organization, the General Staff of the Armed Forces, the Military Directorate, and MOIS [Ministry of Intelligence and Security] should manage the issue from the legal point of view, especially in dealing with the international institutions. 
  1. Information control and management of teams from other countries that are present in Iran 
The-Ukrainian-airliner-PS752-was-shot-down-by-the-Iranian-regime’s-Revolutionary-Guards-on-January-8-2020-killing-all-176-on-board
The Ukrainian airliner PS752 was shot down by the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards on January 8, 2020, killing all 176 on board

The document’s second section reveals how the Council’s political committee was more concerned about “foreign interference” or, in other words, how Ukraine and Canada can reveal the regime’s deception by participating in the investigation process.   

  1. Important approvals of the meeting of the political committee of the Council 
  1. Emphasizing the technicality of the issue, the necessity of working with Ukraine, and trying to prevent the issue from taking on a global scale 
  1. Quick determination of the issue of compensation and its payment 
  1. Separation of criminal proceedings in the military court from legal proceedings regarding the payment of compensation 
  1. Decision-making, especially regarding the black box of the plane, should be done in a way that does not give them an excuse. 
  1. Ensuring the preservation of the country’s aviation industry 
  1. The necessity of obtaining assurance of the reason for the presence and the continued presence of teams from other countries (especially Canadians) in Iran 
  1.  Regarding the visit of the families and survivors of the accident victims to the place of the plane crash, there is no consideration regarding its healing effects. The MOIS must do the necessary cooperation and coordination. 

The third and fourth parts reveal that for all the participants of the meeting, the most important issue was to avoid international consequences and how to prevent the world community from entering the investigation process.  

  1. The main topics presented by the representative of the relevant ministry (Director General of International Legal Affairs): 
  1. Maintaining the technical nature of the issue and trying to solve it through the relevant specialized institutions, especially the aviation organization 
  1. The need to work comprehensively with Ukraine as the main party of the issue and expedite the resolution of all issues, especially the payment of compensation based on international standards, with the aim of preventing the issue from becoming a complex political-international problem, including the possible entry of the ICAO Council and making substantive decisions in this relation. 
  1. It is necessary to reach an understanding with the Ukrainian side as soon as possible regarding the amount and method of payment of compensation. 
  1. According to the official requests of the Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine from our country for judicial assistance within the framework of the mutual Judicial Cooperation Agreement (2008), it is necessary to have proper cooperation with the other side by observing the set of considerations. 
  1. The need to distinguish between criminal proceedings (in the military court) and legal proceedings, especially the payment of compensation and non-discrimination between Iranians and non-Iranians, the fact that the military prosecutor of Tehran is responsible for all matters related to investigation and proceedings under his jurisdiction, can cause prolongation and complexity regarding Issues such as compensation. 
  1. As for the black box, it is necessary to decide as soon as possible. Procrastination about it will create an atmosphere against our country. Its occurrences can be observed from now on. 
  1. If the issue is not managed properly, it can turn into an international dispute. It is possible to raise the issue in the ICAO forum. Suppose the Council enters as a quasi-judicial authority based on Article 84 of the Chicago Convention. In that case, its decision can be appealed to the arbitration authority or the International Court of Justice (ICJ). 

iran-ps752-families-victims-persecution

  1. The most important topics raised by the representatives of other institutions 
  1. Only when the missile and air attack is certain the yellow and red status should be declared, and the country’s airspace should be closed based on that. Such a situation did not exist on the day of the accident (General Headquarters of the Armed Forces). 
  1. We should make sure they don’t put pressure on the aviation industry of our country on the pretext of the Ukrainian plane crash. In case of lack of proper management, they may pressure the aviation industry with reasons and excuses such as Conflict Zone, lack of government authority, and weak cooperation between the civil and military sectors (Aviation Organization). 
  1. In terms of international documents and civil aviation law, the authority to check and verify the black box (FTR) is the government of the place where the accident happens. Cases of non-cooperation are specified in international documents. If the process of checking the black box is delayed and prolonged, some countries will make a fuss about it. (Aviation Organizations). 
  1. If we comply with international standards in paying the compensation, the trust of the airlines will be gained more. (Aviation Organizations) 
  1. The provisions and arrangements of the Warsaw Convention and the Montreal Convention govern the method of determining the amount of compensation to the victims by the transport operator and can be considered as a basis for the payment of compensation by the responsible third party. Iran is a member of the Warsaw Convention. Ukraine is a member of the Montreal Convention. (Center for Presidential International Law Affairs). 
  1. Some of the involved countries, especially Canada, are not basically looking to solve the problem but are looking to politicize and internationalize the issue and prolong and complicate it with the aim of putting pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iran (MOIS). 
  1. Considering that [person who fired missiles] was a military steward, the jurisdiction is with the judicial organization of the armed forces. In addition, we have additional jurisdiction to handle all related legal issues. Mr. Raisi’s opinion is the same. Seven expert teams have been formed to investigate the matter. According to military protocols, all investigations are confidential, and we cannot cooperate with Ukraine. They can only participate in deciphering the black box (Tehran military prosecutor and judicial officer of the case) 

 

The second document obtained by the Iranian dissidents reveals the regime’s fear of the growing calls against its deliberate shooting down of flight PS752 while blaming the “enemy.” It also reveals a series of orders to the regime’s other ministries, officials, and institutions to so-called “counter” the “disinformation campaign by the enemy.”  

The methods of psychological operations and media warfare of the enemy regarding the Ukrainian plane: 

  • Inducing lack of accountability, lack of transparency, lack of justice, and accountability of perpetrators and officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran 
  • Inducing the intentionality of the downing of the plane and denying human error 
  • Insinuating that the Islamic Republic of Iran has used a passenger plane as a human shield against the United States. 
  • Emphasis on secrecy and lack of trust in the system of the Islamic Republic of Iran in investigating this incident and lack of confidence in the research reports provided by Iranian experts. 
  • Inducing the lack of jurisdiction of Iran’s military courts in reaching this case. 
  • Contrary to the claims of the Iranian authorities, the Ukrainian plane was shot down “intentionally” and by the responsibility of “high-ranking Iranian officials” and not by human error. 

Strategic considerations 

  • None of the national and military officials, except for those responsible for handling the case in the judicial organization of the armed forces, should comment and take a position regarding the issue of the Ukrainian plane. 
  • Avoid retelling the incident and reminding the public opinion regarding this issue 
  • The possibility of linking the crash of the Ukrainian plane with events such as the anniversary of social protests in January 2018, as well as the recent trade union protests, should be anticipated and carefully monitored. 
  • In response to any questions from reporters and media regarding issues related to the Ukrainian plane crash, it should be stated: “The relevant case has been under special consideration in the Judicial Organization of the Armed Forces, and the definitive opinion in all relevant areas will be announced through the officials of that organization.” 
  • Avoid any comment on how to pay the compensation to the families of the martyrs and victims of the Ukrainian plane crash and refer the matter to the relevant authorities in the relevant institutions. 
  • While commemorating the anniversary of the martyrs of this accident with the focus of the Shahid Foundation across the country, the media should refrain from addressing this incident as the first news. 
  • The publication of media warfare content and psychological operations of the enemy in cyberspace should be strictly avoided. 

Iran-flight-PS752

Psychological and media operations policies: 

  • Any notification of the Ukrainian plane crash case should be managed through the judicial organization of the armed forces. 
  • Referring to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s acceptance of responsibility for this accident, the media should state that Iran’s concealment plan, as advertised by its enemies, is completely baseless and immoral. 
  • The media should professionally explain that human error is conceivable and inevitable in every incident. As many accidents and plane crashes in the world, have been caused by human error. 
  • Due to the coinciding of the anniversary of this incident with the anniversary of martyr Soleimani and the assassination of this martyr by the criminal and terrorist regime of America, which was in stark contrast to international laws, the different dimensions of this crime should be highlighted in the media, to undermine the enemy’s media attack on the airplane incident, and instead demanding legal consequences of martyr Soleimani’s assassination for the U.S. and U.N.  
  • The meeting with the families of the victims of the accident (especially the close families) to console and interact with them as much as possible by the officials of the Martyr Foundation and Veterans Affairs will continue. It will be prominently reflected in the media. 
  • None of the media should be allowed in any way to portray this—a human error by the country’s defense system regarding the crash of the Ukrainian plane—as a systemic or general error and absolutely avoid undermining the national defense power of the country.

 

Conclusion 

The international community has fallen short in delivering justice to the grieving families of the victims, while the top officials in Iran responsible for this heinous act continue to enjoy impunity. 

In a February 14, 2020, interview with NBC, Mohammad Javad Zarif, then-foreign minister of the regime, stated that Iran lacked the necessary means to decode the black box from the Ukrainian plane that was shot down by Iran. Despite this, Iran refused to hand over the black boxes to the United States or any other foreign entity. 

As the Iranian opposition, Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) revealed in February 2020, the flight and radar experts within Iran firmly believe that this incident could have been entirely prevented. They assert that deliberate decisions made by senior regime officials transformed what could have been a manageable situation into a catastrophic event. 

According to an air control expert in Tehran, representatives of the IRGC and the regime’s conventional army are consistently present in the flight control tower at Tehran’s Khomeini International Airport. Any unscheduled flight immediately garners their attention. The fact that IRGC Aerospace Force commanders deliberately withheld information about the missile launches on January 8 from the control tower, as claimed by these experts, is highly significant. It is worth noting that another aircraft passing through Khomeini International Airport’s airspace witnessed the missile launches and promptly reported the incident to the control tower. 

The newly obtained evidence once again underlines the necessity to hold the Iranian regime accountable for its crime of killing 176 innocent civilians.