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Iran plane crash: Tehran knew immediately they had shot down jet says Ukrainian president

The recording, broadcast by a Ukrainian TV channel on Sunday night, has been acknowledged as genuine by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the head of the Iranian investigation team. The Ukrainian plane was struck down on January 8, killing all 176 people on board. Most of the victims were from Ukraine, 57 Canadians were also on board.

Iran initially blamed the plane crash on technical issues.

However, three days later the government admitted its forces had mistakenly shot down the plane.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said after the release of the recording that it “proves that the Iranian side knew from the start that our plane was hit by a missile”.

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Iran has stopped co-operating with Ukraine in its investigation into the downing of the Ukrainian passenger jet.

“Everything is audible there,” Zelensky said. “Everything is recorded.”

In the recording, the pilot can be heard telling the control tower that he sees “lights like a missile” and a “very big explosion” in the recording.

The audio shows the pilot asked: “There is a series of lights on our route, like a missile. Is there something?”

“What is the light like?” the controller asked.

SEE MORE: World War 3: How US Navy shot down Iranian passenger plane

The investigation team said they would no longer be sharing information about the investigation with Ukraine.

Hassan Rezaifar, of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization, said: “The technical investigation team of the Ukrainian airline crash, in a strange move, published the secret audio file of the communications of a pilot of a plane that was flying at the same time as the Ukrainian plane.

“This action by the Ukrainians led to us not sharing any more evidence with them.”

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, expressed “deep sympathy” to the victims, and said the armed forces must “pursue probable shortcomings and guilt in the painful incident”.

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