Iran says it is ready to hold talks with countries whose citizens were killed when the IRGC shot down a civilian plane.
Tehran, Iran – Iran said it was ready to hold bilateral talks with all countries whose citizens were among 176 victims when an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) air defense battery downed the flight PS752 of Ukraine International Airlines on January 8, 2020.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday that Iran has started the process of paying the $ 150,000 compensation its government had promised to the families of the victims at the end of 2020 and will continue to pay. hold hearings with the families present to hold the 10 anonymous people he indicted to account.
In its statement, the Foreign Ministry said Iran has been transparent and accused other countries of trying to “take advantage of this painful incident” in order to advance their political agendas.
The statement comes after four countries whose citizens were killed in the incident said negotiations with Iran were “futile” after the country missed the deadline last Wednesday to agree to multilateral talks.
Canada, Sweden, Ukraine and the United Kingdom said in a statement that Iran has explicitly told them it will not engage in a group dialogue, so they are now determined to resolve the issue. by international law.
Canada, which had 55 citizens and 30 permanent residents aboard the flight, has taken the most action so far.
Last year, an Ontario court ruled that Iran’s actions constituted an intentional “act of terrorism”, which resulted in several families seeking damages. Earlier this week, a court awarded an $ 84 million settlement to the families of six victims.
Flight PS752 had barely taken off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport when it was shot down by two missiles.
Three days later, the IRGC admitted to downing the plane, saying the tragedy was caused by “human error” amid high tensions with the United States.
Days earlier, the United States had assassinated Iran’s top general and one of its most powerful figures, Qassem Soleimani of the IRGC’s Quds Force, in Iraq.
On the night of the incident, Iranian forces were on high alert for a possible US response after launching more than a dozen missiles at two bases housing US troops in Iraq in retaliation for Soleimani’s murder.
As governments continue to argue over how to handle the problem, Iranians inside and outside the country are commemorating the victims.
Social media is teeming with posts about the victims, many of whom were young Iranians with dual citizenship on their way to study or live abroad. The #IWillLightACandleToo hashtag has been trending for days as users remember the victims and demand justice.
Separately, on Friday, Amirhossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi, head of the Iranian Martyrs and Veterans Foundation, said all Iranian nationals on the flight were eligible for “martyrdom,” which gives their families certain privileges.