Iran declares those killed aboard Ukrainian plane as martyr

Iranian Foreign Ministry: We are ready to negotiate on Ukrainian plane incident

January 7, 2022 - 23:12

TEHRAN — On Friday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry released a statement announcing that the Islamic Republic is ready to negotiate with the countries that lost nationals in the tragic Ukrainian passenger plane accident near Tehran on January 8, 2020.

The Iranian military mistook the plane for an invading missile. The tragic mistake happened five days after Iran attacked a U.S. military base in western Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of Iranian Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad.

176 people, including 82 Iranians, 63 Iranian-Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans, and three British nationals, were killed on board.

The Foreign Ministry, while extending its condolences to the families of the victims, said it considers it necessary to make the following known to the public:

Following the accident, the relevant institutions in Iran, by announcing the main cause of the accident performed their duties with accuracy, transparency and speed and in accordance with domestic laws and international obligations.

Accordingly, in the field of aviation, the independent technical group responsible for accident investigation published a technical report of the accident within the framework of the International Aviation Convention (Chicago Convention 1944) and its annexes, with the interaction and cooperation of the relevant countries and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), as well as a public statement that was welcomed by most of the countries participating in the accident investigation process.

In the field of criminal and judicial affairs of the accident, as it has been announced to the public, the Judicial Organization of the Armed Forces and the Military Prosecutor's Office of Tehran, in accordance with their inherent and legal duties, have conducted the necessary criminal investigations carefully and with emphasis on justice.

So far, several hearings have been held in the presence of the families of the victims.

It should be noted that the Islamic Republic of Iran has carried out the criminal and judicial process based on certain legal principles, including the principle of territorial jurisdiction of the place of the accident and the citizenship of the convicts, in compliance with the relevant laws and regulations.

Regarding efforts to condole the bereaved families and lessen their pain, the esteemed Council of Ministers, in good faith, on January 7, in a resolution, set a figure to pay to the families of victims (without any discrimination such as their nationality). 

In line with the implementation of this resolution, a staff was formed in the Ministry of Transport, which has taken the necessary measures to carry out the usual payment process and has so far made payments to a number of families in accordance with the relevant regulations.

In this regard, in a note to the embassies of the relevant governments, readiness to pay money to the survivors of 30 foreign nationals has been announced.

In the diplomatic dimension of the accident, the Islamic Republic of Iran welcomed the bilateral talks with related countries and declared its goodwill and provided the necessary explanations on the various military, criminal, technical and legal aspects of the accident, and participated in three rounds of bilateral talks with the Ukrainian government in Kiev and Tehran.

In these negotiations, all aspects of the issue were examined in full detail by experts from both sides.

The Islamic Republic of Iran reiterates its readiness to engage with any of the relevant countries on bilateral negotiations in good faith, respect for the sovereignty of countries and domestic laws, and the international obligations of governments, in accordance with the agreed agenda.

Meanwhile, Amir Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi Iran’s vice president and head of the Foundation of Martyrs and Veterans Affairs, paid his respects to those who lost their lives in the Ukrainian plane accident, calling them “martyrs”.

“On the second anniversary of the tragic incident of the martyrdom of the passengers of the Ukrainian plane in one of the bitterest moments of the country, we pay tribute to the martyrs of this incident and cherish the memory of those loved ones,” Ghazizadeh Hashemi stated.

About the measures taken to serve the families of these martyrs, he said the “loved ones” aboard the plane are classified as martyrs.

“Arrangements have been made to provide services to the survivors of the martyrs of the Ukrainian plane crash. So far, out of 133 Iranian families in this incident, the files of 73 esteemed families have been formed, and about other great families, there is a readiness to file and provide services in the Foundation of Martyrs and Veterans Affairs,” he explained.

The vice president stressed that he hopes that the legal process and the process to investigate the case will soon be completed and he would see the peace of hearts of the survivors and the families of the martyrs by achieving the result and introducing the culprits.

While announcing that a number of these families live abroad, Ghazizadeh Hashemi said that the foundation under his leadership is ready to file a case for these families too.

The vice president added, “Today, by attending the graves of five victims of the Ukrainian plane incident on behalf of the three branches of government, including the president and the cabinet, we pay tribute to the status of these martyrs and extend our condolences to the families of the martyrs. The graves of the other victims of this tragic incident are scattered in 14 provinces of the country, and the officials will go and pay their tributes according to the plan.”

He added that meeting the families of these loved ones to offer condolences is on the agenda of the foundation.

Canada along with Britain and Ukraine are accusing Iran of snubbing the families of those killed by refusing to negotiate a settlement.

On Thursday, Canada, Britain, Sweden and Ukraine said they have tried repeatedly to negotiate with Iran but now find those efforts to be futile, so they will pursue other avenues in international law.

The decision comes after they claimed Iran ignored a Wednesday deadline to negotiate a settlement for the victims.


 

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