Official Denies Claim of Hijacking Ukrainian Plane in Iran
By Staff, Agencies
The spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Organization of Iran dismissed reports that a Ukrainian plane has been hijacked in Iran, saying the aircraft left the country for Kiev after it was refueled in the northeastern city of Mashhad.
In comments for Tasnim news agency on Tuesday, Mohammad Hassan Zibakhsh denied rumors that the Ukrainian plane has been hijacked in Iran, saying: “That plane was refueled in the airport of Mashhad yesterday and landed in the airport of Kiev at 21:50 [local time].”
His comments came after Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Yevgeny Yenin claimed that the plane that had arrived in Afghanistan to evacuate Ukrainians has been hijacked by unidentified people who flew it into Iran.
Zibakhsh added that the Civil Aviation Organization authorities have monitored the plane and confirmed that the aircraft arrived in Kiev at 17:20 GMT on Monday.
“The Civil Aviation Organization of Iran categorically denies the claim that the plane has been hijacked or gone missing,” he said.
On Tuesday, the Ukrainian deputy foreign minister claimed, "Last Sunday, our plane was hijacked by other people. On Tuesday, the plane was practically stolen from us, it flew into Iran with an unidentified group of passengers onboard instead of airlifting Ukrainians. Our next three evacuation attempts were also not successful because our people could not get into the airport.”
According to him, the hijackers were armed. However, the deputy minister did not report anything about what happened to the plane or whether Kiev would seek to get it back or how the Ukrainian citizens got back from Kabul, onboard of this "practically stolen" plane or another one sent by Kiev.