Iran and Ukraine discuss compensation for downed plane

Iran hosts officials from Ukraine to discuss compensation for Kiev-bound passenger plane that Iran shot down in January.

Tags: Iran Ukraine
Elad Benari ,

Ukraine International Airlines airplane
Ukraine International Airlines airplane

Iran on Monday hosted officials from Ukraine in a second round of talks over compensation for a Kiev-bound passenger plane that Iran mistakenly shot down in January, AFP reported, citing state media.

The Boeing 737, bound for Kiev, was hit by two ground-to-air missiles and crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran on January 8. All 176 aboard were killed.

Iran initially denied having anything to do with the crash, but US officials said early on that the plane had been shot down by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Iran later admitted that it had made a mistake and shot the Ukrainian plane after it flew too close to a sensitive military site and failed to respond to signals.

The crash came shortly after Iran fired ballistic missiles at two bases in Iraq that house US forces in retaliation for the US eliminating top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

Victims aboard the Ukrainian plane included citizens of Canada, Sweden, the U.K, Afghanistan and Ukraine. Out of 176 on board, 57 were Canadians. Many of the passengers were scheduled to catch a connecting flight to Toronto.

In July, Sweden said that had has agreed to compensate the families of the victims who were killed in the crash.

According to Iranian state news agency IRNA, Monday’s talks were held at the foreign ministry in Tehran and will continue until Wednesday.

The first round of negotiations was held in Kiev in July, with the Ukrainian authorities saying they were "cautiously optimistic" about the process.

Canada, meanwhile, reaffirmed its commitment to "work tirelessly so that the families of the victims can get the answers they deserve."

Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne "is actively working with his international partners to ensure a thorough and credible investigation," his spokeswoman Syrine Khoury said on Monday.

Canada announced at the beginning of October it would form its own forensic team led by a former deputy spy chief to examine the evidence in the tragedy and advise the government accordingly.