Ukraine: recordings show that Iran knew that the plane was hit by a missile

KYIV ( UKRAINE ): An exchange was leaked between an Iranian air traffic controller and an Iranian pilot who intends to demonstrate that the authorities knew immediately that a missile had shot down a Ukrainian after Tehran took off, killing all 176 people on board, despite of the days of denial by the Islamic Republic.

He acknowledged the authenticity of the recording in a report transmitted by a Ukrainian television channel on Sunday night.

In Tehran on Monday, the head of the Iranian investigation team, Hassan Rezaeifar, acknowledged that the recording was legitimate and said it was handed over to Ukrainian officials.

After the January 8 disaster, I ran The civil government held for days that it did not know that the country's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, responsible only to the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had shot down the plane. The plane was shot down a few hours after the Guard launched a ballistic missile attack against Iraqi bases that house US forces in retaliation for a US drone attack that killed the Guard's main general, Qassem Soleimani, in Baghdad.

A transcript of the recording, published by Ukrainian 1+1 TV channel, contains a conversation in Farsi between an air-traffic controller and a pilot reportedly flying a Fokker 100 jet for I ran 's Aseman Airlines from I ran 's southern city of Shiraz to Tehran.

`` A series of lights like ... yes, it's a missile, is there anything? '', Call the pilot to the controller.

`` No, how many miles? Where? '', Asks the controller.

The pilot replies that he saw the light near the city of Payam, near where the Tor's Guard M-1 anti-aircraft missile was launched. The controller says they have not been informed, but the pilot continues to insist.

`` It's the light of the missile, '' says the pilot.

`` You don't see anything anymore? '', Asks the controller.

`` Dear engineer, it was an explosion. We saw a very big light there, I really don't know what it was, '' replies the pilot.

The controller then tries to hire the Ukrainian plane, but without success.

Publicly accessible flight tracking radar information suggests that the Aseman Airlines plane, flight number 3768, was close enough to Tehran to see the explosion.

I ran ian civil aviation authorities for days insisted it wasn't a missile that brought down the plane, even after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. officials began saying they believed it had been shot down.

I ran ian officials should have immediately had access to the air-traffic control recordings and Zelenskiy told 1+1 that ``the recording, indeed, shows that the I ran ian side knew from the start that our plane was shot down by a missile, they were aware of this at the moment of the shooting.''

Ukraine's president repeated his demands to decode the plane's flight recorders in Kyiv _ something I ran ian officials had promised last month but later backtracked on. On Monday, Ukrainian investigators were to travel to Tehran to participate in the decoding effort, but Zelenskiy insisted on bringing the so-called ``black boxes'' back to Kyiv.

`` It's very important for us, '' he said.

I ran ian authorities, however, condemned the publication of the recording as ``unprofessional,'' saying it was part of a confidential report.

``This action by the Ukrainians makes us not want to give them any more evidence,'' said Rezaifar, the head of the I ran ian investigators