TEHRAN: Tehran is going to pay $150,000 to every family of the 176 people killed when Iran mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane in January, the presidency said on Wednesday.
Shortly after taking off from Teheran airport on January 8, Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 crashed, killing all 176 passengers on board.
Three days later, Tehran admitted that its forces mistakenly shot down the Kiev-bound Boeing 737-800 plane after launching two missiles in the middle of heightened tensions between the US and Iran.
The cabinet has accepted the $150,000 clause, or the equivalent in euros… “As soon as possible, for the families and survivors of each of the victims of the Ukrainian plane crash,” Iran’s presidency said.
‘This compensation would not preclude the investigation before the appropriate judicial body of the criminal aspect of the case,’ the statement continued.
Many of those killed were Iranians and Canadians, some dual nationals, with 85 Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
The Iranian Civil Aviation Authority has said that the misalignment of the radar system of an air defence unit was the primary “human error” that contributed to the downing of the aircraft.
At a time when the US retaliated against Iranian attacks hours earlier on American troops deployed in Iraq, Tehran’s air defences were on high alert, which in turn was in reaction to the US assassination of Iran’s top leader, General Qasem Soleimani.
In July, the Foreign Minister of Ukraine claimed that he wished to secure as much financial aid as possible to relieve the “pain and mourning” of the families of the victims.
In October, a Ukrainian delegation visited Tehran for talks on future financial reimbursement.
The Iranian Foreign Minister then suggested that “compensation for families and the airline” was the subject of the talks in particular.
Mohammad Eslami, Iran’s transport minister, said on Wednesday that the final crash report would “soon” be made public, including an English version.
“Eslami said, “The plane’s director, Ukraine, and Boeing were present for the inquiry.