The Twenty-eight request a complete and independent investigation into the plane crash in Iran

Restos del avión ucraniano estrellado en Teherán

Remains of the crashed Ukrainian plane in Tehran – Arash Khamooshi


The foreign ministers of the Twenty-Eight who meet this Friday in Brussels to address instability in the Middle East have called for an “independent” and “complete” investigation into the plane crash in Iran. Upon arrival at the meeting, European partners have expressed different versions of the accident and the involvement of Tehran.

The Twenty-eight request a complete and independent investigation into the plane crash in Iran
The Twenty-eight request a complete and independent investigation into the plane crash in Iran

After the US, Canadian and British intelligence pointed out that it was an Iranian missile that shot down the passenger plane of Ukraine International Airlines with 176 dead on board, something that Tehran denies, the European partners have shown that they handle different positions in this regard .

Thus, the Netherlands considers the version offered by the US services as good. “It is quite likely that the plane was shot down by Iranian missiles, it is important that the investigation be independent and clear,” said Netherlands Foreign Minister Stef Blok.

According to the Dutch leader, the EU would have to gauge what steps to take when the result of the investigation is known, also taking into account Tehran's behavior at this time.

In similar terms the Estonian minister, Urmas Reinsalu, has expressed that he has demanded an “independent and complete” investigation, since “the international community and the families of the victims need to know the truth.”

According to his Lithuanian counterpart, Antanas Linkevicius, the case of the wrecked plane “does not contribute to distending” the crisis in the region and understands that there must be an “international, impartial and transparent” investigation into the tragedy. “It is a duty to investigate,” said Linkevicius, who stressed that Iran “has no other choice” than to open up to this investigation.

On the other hand, the Luxembourg Foreign Minister, Jean Asselborn, has said that in his opinion the accident of the Ukrainian plane was “an accident resulting from nervousness in the region”, a nervousness that has said “must cease” as soon as possible to rebuild the trust.

According to the head of the Luxembourg diplomacy, it is not about “pointing the finger”, but about providing transparency to what happened in order to turn the page. “The European Union is a peace project and, if we are asked, we can provide that help,” Asselborn concluded, on the need to reduce tension in the area.

With the conflicts in Libya and Iran in the background, the ministers of the member countries have expressed their requests to ease the crisis in the region, highlighting that the EU has the opportunity to play a mediating role between Iran and Washington after the cross attacks between both powers.

Upon arrival at the meeting, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, commented briefly that the extraordinary summit will help European partners to share their views on the crisis in Iran and Libya. “The year has started a bit difficult and the situation is worrisome,” said Borrell, who said he will expose European partners to his contacts with the various actors on the stage such as Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, or the secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

On arrival, several EU ministers have stressed the importance of preserving, despite the current crisis, the nuclear agreement with Tehran, since it is a “communication channel” with Iran. “We have all called Tehran these days and it is important that even if we do not share the same opinion, we will continue talking with them,” said Finland's Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto.

On his side, the head of Austrian diplomacy, Alexander Schallenber, has argued that the EU has an important role to play in the crisis and, in his opinion, is precisely to offer “a channel of dialogue” between Washington and Tehran.

In the same vein, the Slovak minister, Miroslav Lajcak, who has reduced weight on Iran's statements to lift restrictions on uranium enrichment has expressed itself. “The announcement by Iran is not that they abandon the agreement. It is not the end of the game, I hope we can help Iran return to the game,” he said of Tehran's commitments to the nuclear pact signed in 2015 and that he has other Six powers as observers.

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