Thursday, March 23, 2023

‘Countries will hold Iran to account’ over downed airliner | Aviation News

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Ukraine demands full reparations for the families of the victims, countries affected by the plane crash a year ago.

Ukraine called on Iran to deliver justice and pay full compensation to the families of those killed when a Ukrainian airliner was shot down by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) last January .

On Friday, the first anniversary of the accident, Ukraine and the countries whose citizens were killed in the incident jointly called in a statement for “a full and thorough explanation … including concrete measures to ensure that it does not will never happen again ”.

“Our countries will hold Iran to account to deliver justice and ensure that Iran provides full reparations to the families of the victims and to the affected countries,” the statement, made jointly with Afghanistan, said on Friday. Canada, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Iran last week said it would pay $ 150,000 to the families of each of the 176 victims of the downed Ukraine International Airlines plane in Iranian airspace.

Among the victims of the incident were 57 Canadians as well as 11 Ukrainians, 17 Swedes, 4 Afghans and 4 British.

The IRGC said it accidentally shot down the plane, which was heading for the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, mistaking it for a missile at a time when tensions with the United States were high.

The incident took place the same night Iran launched a ballistic missile attack targeting US soldiers in Iraq in response to a drone strike ordered by US President Donald Trump that killed General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on January 3.

But on Friday Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said it was “impossible not to know when it was a passenger plane in the air.”

“No one doubts that the lives of 176 civilians aboard a peaceful plane have been taken to murder by two missiles,” Zelenskiy said.

Calling Iran’s handling of the situation “unacceptable”, Ukraine previously said the amount of compensation should be negotiated.

A Canadian adviser said Thursday it was premature to discuss the amount of compensation to be paid to relatives.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday that the country would accept “nothing less than a full and honest explanation” from Iran. He also called for “transparency, accountability and justice” for the families of the victims.

‘Justice will be served’

Meanwhile, in Iran tributes were paid to the victims.

Social media was inundated with messages about the downed flight on Thursday, as a number of families of the victims held a vigil at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport, from where the flight took off.

A commemorative event also took place in Shahedshahr, where the plane descended.

In a televised speech, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called the incident “very bitter, painful and unbelievable”.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said: “The only thing we can do is provide compensation according to current international standards and hold those responsible to account. Justice will be served. “

Last month, Iran said the final technical report on the incident had been sent to other countries involved in the case for review and comment, and would be released soon.

Additional reporting by Maziar Motamedi in Tehran


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