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Iran says ready to pay compensation for Ukrainian plane crash

State-run media reported Iran is ready to pay compensations. [Getty]

Date of publication: 23 August, 2020

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Iran has accepted responsibility for downing the Ukrainian plane and is ready to negotiate paying full compensation under international law, the state-run agency reported.
Iran is ready to pay full compensations for downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane that killed 176 in January, the head of Iran's Civil Aviation Organization told official IRNA news agency on Saturday.

"What is evident is that Iran has accepted responsibility for its mistake and therefore the country is ready for negotiations on paying full compensation," Touraj Dehqani Zanganeh was quoted as saying.

Zangeneh's remarks came ahead of a new round of talks between Iranian and Ukrainian officials.

While Zangeneh could not specify when exactly the compensations would be paid, he said they "will be paid within international laws and without discrimination" to those affected by the incident.

Iran has been in negotiations with Ukraine, Canada and other nations that had citizens aboard the plane after they called for investigations.

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has described the talks as constructive, but previously stated that it was too early to say how much Iran should pay.

Also on Sunday, Iran's Civil Aviation Organization said the country had retrieved some data, including a portion of cockpit conversations, from the Ukrainian jetliner.

The data will be included in Tehran's final report on the incident.

On January 8, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) shot down a Ukranian Airlines passenger jet, killing all 176 passengers and crew members on the flight. The majority of the passengers were Iranian nationals or dual Iranian-Canadian citizens.

After initially denying any involvement, Tehran admitted to "mistakenly" downing the plane just hours after firing a volley of missiles at an Iraqi base hosting American troops. That attack came in retaliation against Washington's killing of a top IRGC commander in a drone strike.

The Ukrainian plane was apparently targeted by two missiles. The plane had just taken off from Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport when the first missile exploded, possibly damaging its radio equipment.

The second missile likely directly struck the aircraft, as videos from that night show the plane exploding into a ball of fire before crashing into a playground and farmland on the outskirts of Tehran.

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