Iran on Wednesday said it will pay $150,000 to the families of the 176 victims of a Ukrainian passenger plane that was shot down by Iranian forces near Tehran in January.

The announcement from the official IRNA news agency comes just over a week before the anniversary of the Jan. 8 crash. Diplomats from nations that lost citizens have been pushing Iran for more cooperation on the investigation and compensation issues. Iran has not specified a timeline on the $150,000 compensation.

FILE: Debris litters the scene where a Ukrainian plane crashed in Shahedshahr southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran. 

FILE: Debris litters the scene where a Ukrainian plane crashed in Shahedshahr southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran. (AP)

Iran initially denied shooting down the plane, but later admitted – after Western intelligence reports and international pressure building – that its military had mistakenly fired at the Ukrainian jetliner.

The downing of the plane came when tensions between Iran and the U.S. had reached a fever pitch. Less than a week before, an American drone strike had killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, raising fears of further violence in the region.

Tehran blamed "human error" for the shoot-down, saying in a report released over the summer that those manning a misaligned surface-to-air missile battery wrongly identified the civilian flight as a threat and opened fire twice without getting approval from ranking officials.

Canadian authorities allege that Iran has not disclosed all relevant evidence or provided satisfactory answers to a number of lingering questions, including the identities of those held responsible for the downing, the exact chain of events that led the Revolutionary Guard to open fire and the decision to leave Iranian airspace open to civilian traffic the same night that Iran launched a barrage of ballistic missiles at U.S. forces in Iraq.

B-52S FLY OVER PERSIAN GULF AS 'COMPLEX ATTACKS' FROM IRAN FEARED, US READY TO THWART

The plane, a Boeing 737 operated by Ukraine International Airlines bound for Kyiv, was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew members from several countries, including 82 Iranians, 57 Canadians, 17 Swedes, 11 Ukrainians, four Afghans and four British citizens, according to officials.

The governments of the five affected countries have demanded for months that Tehran accept "full responsibility" for the crash and pay compensation to the victims' families in line with international agreements.

FILE: The partner of Julia Sologub, a member of the flight crew of the Ukrainian 737-800 plane that crashed on the outskirts of Tehran, reacts as he holds a portrait of her at a memorial inside Borispil international airport outside in Kyiv, Ukraine. 

FILE: The partner of Julia Sologub, a member of the flight crew of the Ukrainian 737-800 plane that crashed on the outskirts of Tehran, reacts as he holds a portrait of her at a memorial inside Borispil international airport outside in Kyiv, Ukraine. (AP)

Iran, for its part, has sent mixed messages on the matter of compensation, with the head of the country's main insurance agency saying in October that Iran would refuse to pay awards because the jet was "insured by European companies." Other Iranian officials, meanwhile, have promised to negotiate compensation with the five countries.

"A mistake has been made by us, but the base of the compensation should be decided," said Mohsen Baharvand, deputy to the foreign minister, in September. "We have told our Ukrainian colleagues that international regulations are our basis."

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The association representing the families of victims released a statement last week lambasting Iran's compensation offer and demanding an independent and transparent investigation into the crash.

"The families are vigilant and will not sign any document," the statement read. "The murderer cannot play the role of mourner."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source Link:
https://www.foxnews.com/world/iran-to-pay-150k-to-families-of-ukraine-plane-crash-victims

[-0.732154,"negative"]

Comments

comments

Advertisement