Iran sets compensation for victims of the downed flight before the first anniversary of the deadly incident.
Tehran, Iran – The Iranian government has pledged $ 150,000 to each of the families of the victims of a Ukrainian Airlines flight that was hit by missiles over Tehran nearly a year ago.
President Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet approved the sum, or its equivalent in euros, at a meeting on Wednesday, according to a statement released by the legal affairs department of the presidential office.
“The compensation will not prevent the judicial aspect of the matter from being followed through to qualified courts,” the statement said, adding that the funds are ready, but does not provide a specific timetable for the transfer.
The office said the cabinet stressed that the funds should be paid to families “without any discrimination based on nationality or citizenship, in accordance with the relative and applicable rules of the countries of the deceased.”
Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, which was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew, crashed on January 8 after take-off, killing everyone on board.
After three days, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) admitted that “human error” had led to the plane being shot down with two missiles.
The deadly incident came hours after the IRGC fired a dozen missiles at two US bases in Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of Commander-in-Chief Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike ordered by US President Donald Trump .
The downed flight was primarily carrying Iranians, many of whom had dual Canadian citizenship, as they made their way to Kiev en route to Canada.
Iran does not formally recognize dual nationality status, which has complicated the problem.
Government report finalized
Speaking to reporters after Wednesday’s cabinet meeting, Iranian Highways Minister Mohammad Eslami said a detailed government report on the destruction of the flight had been finalized.
“The final report was printed in English and submitted to all stakeholders,” he said, adding that the report will soon be released by the Iranian Civil Aviation Organization.
A first report published by the aviation organization at the end of August had shown that the passengers and crew were alive after the first missile struck the plane.
But the second missile, which hit the plane 25 seconds after the first, sent the plane crashing down.
Both engines on the plane were still running and the pilots were trying to turn the plane around because it was still very close to the airport, according to the report at the time.
Iran and Ukraine have held several rounds of talks to discuss the financial and legal aspects of the issue.
“Although the payment of compensation will not eliminate all the pain and suffering caused by this incident, we hope it will serve as a reminder of the commitment to safeguard the rights of all and to respect humans,” the legal department said on Wednesday. of the presidential office.
Iran-Canada political spit
Iran and Canada, which do not have official diplomatic relations, have had several political meetings over the downed plane over the past year.
More recently, Canadian Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne said earlier in December that he did not believe Iran’s destruction of the plane could be blamed on human error.
The minister, however, declined to give more details, saying “we will let the process unfold.”
In a strong rebuke from the Canadian minister, the spokesman for the Iranian foreign ministry called Champagne’s claim “unacceptable” and “completely political and anti-judicial”.
“Canadian officials had the most unwarranted interventions from day one and tried to prevent the natural path of this issue from being clarified,” Saeed Khatibzadeh said earlier this month.
Khatibzadeh also warned that Canada should be held to account for its actions and condemned it for its support for the US campaign of “maximum pressure” of severe economic sanctions against Iran.