Thu. Jan 27th, 2022

Iran says it is ready to hold talks with provinces whose citizens were killed when IRGC shot down a civilian plane.

Tehran, Iran Iran has said it is ready to hold bilateral talks with all the countries whose citizens were among the 176 victims when an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) air defense battery shot down on January 8, 2020 Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday that Iran had begun the process of paying the $ 150,000 compensation his government has promised victims’ families by the end of 2020, and will continue to hold court sessions with families present to hold the 10 anonymous people accountable it has been charged.

In its statement, the Foreign Ministry said Iran was transparent and accused other countries of trying to “take advantage of this painful incident” 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 a final Wednesday deadline to agree to multilateral talks.

Canada, Sweden, Ukraine and the United Kingdom said in a statement that Iran had explicitly told them it would not engage in group dialogue, so they were now determined to resolve the issue through international law.

Canada, which had 55 citizens and 30 permanent residents on board the flight, has acted the most so far.

Last year, a court in Ontario ruled that Iran’s actions constituted an intentional “act of terrorism”, which opened the door for several families to claim damages. Earlier this week, a court a settlement of $ 84 million granted to the families of six victims.

Flight PS752 had just taken off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport when it was shot down by two missiles.

Three days later, the IRGC admitted it had shot down the plane and said the tragedy was caused by “human error” amid high tensions with the United States.

Days before, the US had Iran’s top general and one of its most powerful figures, the IRGC Quds Force’s Qassem Soleimani, in Iraq.

On the night of the incident, Iranian forces were on high alert for a potential US response after launching more than a dozen missiles at two bases housing US troops in Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of Soleimani.

As governments continue to bargain on how to deal with the issue, Iranians inside and outside the country are commemorating the victims.

Social media outlets were filled with postings about the victims, many of whom were young Iranian dual citizens on their way to study or live abroad. The hashtag #IWillLightACandleToo has been in trend for days as users remember the victims and ask for justice.

Separately on Friday, Amirhossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi, head of Iran’s Foundation of Martyrs and Veterans, said all Iranian citizens on the run were eligible for “martyrdom”, which entitles their families to certain privileges.

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