Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (File pic)
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (File pic)

Ukraine demands punishment, compensation from Iran over plane downing

ANI | Updated: Jan 12, 2020 03:14 IST

Kiev [Ukraine], Jan 12 (ANI): Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday said that he expects a full investigation as well as an admission of guilt and compensation from the Iran regime following the downing of the country Boeing passenger plane last week.
Zelenskyy's comments came shortly after Tehran said it had mistakenly shot down the plane killing all 176 people on board on January 8, on the same day it struck military bases hosting US troops in retaliation for Washington's assassination of top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani last week, Al Jazeera reported.
"Iran has pleaded guilty to crashing the Ukrainian plane. But we insist on a full admission of guilt," Zelenskyy wrote on Facebook.
"We expect from Iran assurances of their readiness for a full and open investigation, bringing those responsible to justice, the return of the bodies of the dead, the payment of compensation, official apologies through diplomatic channels," he said.
"Our 45 experts must get full access and cooperation to establish justice," he added.
Iran said that its military "unintentionally" shot down the Ukrainian jetliner, blaming "human error" for the incident in which the military mistook Flight 752 for a "hostile target".
The country's state broadcaster Press TV had also quoted Iran's armed forces as saying that the plane had flown close to a "sensitive military site".
The military said it was at its "highest level of readiness" amid the heightened tensions with the United States. It apologised and said it would upgrade its systems to prevent future tragedies.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in a statement posted on social media, wrote that the country "deeply regrets this disastrous mistake".
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also said that "human error at the time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to the disaster".
Iran had denied for several days that a missile downed the aircraft, calling such suggestions "psychological warfare". But then the US and Canada, citing intelligence, said they believed Iran had shot down the aircraft.
The jetliner, a Boeing 737-800 operated by Ukraine International Airlines, went down on the outskirts of Tehran during takeoff just hours after Iran launched a barrage of missiles at US forces in Iraq.
The plane, en route to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew members from several countries, including 82 Iranians, 57 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians when it was shot down. (ANI)