Hours after Iran admitted that it had shot down the Ukranian jet on January 8, amid tensions with the United States, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky stated that he had called upon President Hassan Rouhani and said that acknowledging the plane shot down is a step in the right direction. President Zelensky took to Twitter on Saturday to state that he spoke to his Iranian counterpart and said that he looks forward to further legal and technical cooperation.
Talked to @HassanRouhani. Acknowledging plane shot down is a step in the right direction. I insist on immediately completing identification of the bodies & their return to Ukraine. The perpetrators must be held accountable. We look forward to further legal & technical cooperation— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) January 11, 2020
Earlier in the day, President Zelensky said, "The morning brought the truth. Ukraine insists on full admission of guilt. We expect Iran to prosecute, return the bodies of the dead, pay compensation, and make official apologies. The investigation should be complete, open and ongoing without delay or obstruction."
"But we insist on a full admission of guilt. We expect Iran to conduct a full and open investigation, bring those responsible to justice, return the bodies of the deceased, pay compensation and issue official apologies through diplomatic channels. We hope that the investigation will continue without artificial delays and obstacles. Our 45 professionals need full access and engagement to establish justice," Zelensky had said in a strongly-worded statement.
A military statement on Saturday carried by state media said that the plane was mistaken for a “hostile target” after it turned toward a “sensitive military center” of the Revolutionary Guard. “The military was at its highest level of readiness amid the heightened tensions with the US. In such a condition, because of human error and in an unintentional way, the flight was hit.” It apologised for the disaster and said it would upgrade its systems to prevent such mistakes in the future. The responsible parties would be referred to a judicial department within the military and held accountably, the military said.