Ukraine had evidence of missile strike on UIA plane before Iran's statement - Danilov
The Ukrainian side had had evidence of a missile strike on the Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) plane in Iran on December 8, even before Iran took the blame for the tragedy, NSDC secretary Oleksiy Danilov said in a comment to the BBC.Ukraina on Saturday.
"Even before Iran changed its position, we knew this information. We knew this information even before our respected partners from other countries began to publish it," he said.
According to him, experts found evidence that it was a missile. "With high probability we know the name of this missile, we know when the Iranian authorities bought it, and we know who they bought it from," the NSDC secretary said.
Danilov believes that it is precisely the presence of this evidence that Kyiv had at its disposal, as well as public statements that the main version is shooting down by a missile, influenced Iran to admit its guilt.
"We understand why Iran has changed its position: they did not expect our specialists would act this way," he said.
He stressed that Ukrainian experts immediately after arriving at the crash site, passed information to Kyiv. According to him, those same specialists worked at the crash site of the MH-17 aircraft in Donbas.
"Due to a very short period of time, combining all the pieces of information, we realized what had happened. We couldn't do it immediately in public, we had to work more. Iran is a very complicated country and we worried very much so that they don't send our specialists back to the country," Danilov explained.
The NSDC secretary also added that the holes on the photos published by the President's Office clearly show openings from the exit of explosive elements. "These are the holes from the missile. We can't say now what kind of missile it is, but we figure it out and we know its name."
According to him, Ukraine will not stop the investigation into this catastrophe, despite Iran's official recognition of the missile strike, since it will demand the punishment of those responsible.
"There is a preliminary understanding today that Iran agreed to compensate for all this, since they officially recognized it," Danilov said.
On January 9, Danilov told the Censor.net e-zine: "Our commission is agreeing with the Iranian authorities on admission to the crash scene and is planning to search for fragments of a Russian Tor missile system in order to check into the information that was made public in the Internet. We are using all practices of the investigation into the attack on Boeing MH17 in order to find the truth also in the case on the crash of the Ukrainian aircraft in Tehran."