News / World

AFP
Wire Service
2 minute read
11 Jan 2020
9:21 am

Ukraine demands punishment, compensation for airliner downed by Iran

AFP

President Volodymyr Zelensky demanded Saturday that Iran punish those responsible for the downing of a Ukrainian airliner and pay compensation.

Ukraine leader Volodymyr Zelensky. AFP/Genya SAVILOV

“We expect Iran … to bring the guilty to the courts,” the Ukrainian leader wrote on Facebook, calling also for the “payment of compensation” after Tehran admitted accidentally downing the plane and killing all 176 people on board.

Those responsible for shooting down the Ukrainian jet would “immediately” be brought before military justice, the general staff of the Iranian armed forces said on Saturday.

“We assure you that by pursuing fundamental reforms in operational processes at the armed forces’ level we will make it impossible to repeat such errors,” the general staff added in a press release.

Iran on Saturday said it unintentionally shot down the Ukrainian airliner that crashed this week killing 176 people, calling it an “unforgivable mistake”.

The Ukraine International Airlines plane came down on Wednesday shortly after Iran launched missiles at bases hosting American forces in Iraq in response to the killing of Qasem Soleimani, one of Iran’s top generals, in a US drone strike.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani tweeted.

“Armed Forces’ internal investigation has concluded that regrettably missiles fired due to human error caused the horrific crash of the Ukrainian plane & death of 176 innocent people,” he added.

“Investigations continue to identify & prosecute this great tragedy & unforgivable mistake.”

More reaction

Iran must “learn lessons” from the disaster, the chairman of the Russian parliament’s foreign affairs committee said.

“If decryption of the black boxes and the work of the investigation do not prove that the Iranian army did this intentionally, and there are no logical reasons for this, the incident must be closed.

“Hoping that lessons will be learned and action taken by all parties,” said Konstantin Kosachev, quoted by the Interfax news agency.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Saturday closure and accountability were needed after Iran said it had unintentionally shot down a Ukranian plane, killing 176 people.

He also demanded “transparency, and justice for the families and loved ones of the victims,” of whom many were Canadian dual nationals.

“This is a national tragedy, and all Canadians are mourning together,” Trudeau’s office said in a statement.

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