Full transcript: Leaked audio appears to show Iran immediately knew it shot down Ukrainian plane

Pilot of another plane can be heard saying he saw 'light of a missile' in sky

A leaked audio recording of an Iranian pilot talking to an air traffic control tower in Tehran appears to show that Iran immediately knew it shot down a Ukrainian airliner last month.

Iran denied responsibility for three days after the crash, eventually saying it had done so by mistake while under high alert, hours after it fired at US targets in retaliation for the killing of an Iranian general.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the leaked audio "proves that the Iranian side knew from the start that our plane had been hit by a missile".

"He says that, 'It seems to me that a missile is flying'," Mr Zelenskiy said. "He says it in both Farsi and English. Everything is fixed there."

In the recording, played on Ukrainian TV late on Sunday, the pilot of another plane says he saw "the light of a missile" in the sky before Ukrainian International Airways flight 752 crashed in an explosion

Iran has condemned the leaking of the audio to the Ukrainian press, saying it will have an effect on the country's willingness to share evidence in the crash investigation.

The full transcript of the leaked audio:

Pilot: A series of lights, like a missile. Is there something?

Air traffic: 320. Area, no, how many miles? Where?

Pilot: I cannot distinguish the location, but it is around Payam [cargo airport], Karaj.

Air Traffic: How many miles? Where?

Pilot: I see its light right now, from here.

Air Traffic: Nothing has been reported to us. Is there anything else? What is the light like?

Pilot: It is the light of a missile.

Air Traffic: It's moving toward the east, is it?

Pilot: Maybe. No, no it is coming from there … [inaudible]

Air Traffic: Nothing has been reported to us but keep an eye on it.

Air Traffic: Ukraine International 752, radar? Ukraine International 752, radar? Ukraine International 752, radar? Ukraine International 752, report radar.

Air Traffic: Ukraine International 752, radar? Do you read?

Air Traffic: Ukraine International 752, radar? Ukraine International 752, radar? Report radar. Do you read?

[Another plane requests clearance to approach]

Pilot: Dear engineer, it was an explosion. We saw a very big light there, I don't really know what it was.

[Inaudible]

Pilot: Is this normal for us or what?

Air Traffic: Yeah, I don't think there is a problem for you.

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