Iran criticised for reluctance to talk reparations over downed passenger flight

Britain, Canada, Sweden and Ukraine warn Tehran that patience is wearing thin after deaths of 176 passengers and crew

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Britain, Canada, Sweden and Ukraine have criticised Iran’s unwillingness to address demands for reparations over the downing of a flight last year by Iranian forces that killed everyone on board.

The four countries said their “patience is wearing thin” and accused Iran of showing “no interest in adhering to its international legal obligations”.

The Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was shot down in January 2020 by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps shortly after take-off from Tehran, resulting in the deaths of the 176 passengers and crew.

Most of the those who died were Iranian or Canadian citizens, but also British, Ukrainian, Afghan and Swedish.

In a statement, a group representing ministers from Canada, the UK, Sweden and Ukraine said they had delivered requests to Iran “to discuss the matters that pertain to our claim and demands for reparations”.

“However, due to the apparent reluctance of [Iran] to address this matter in a constructive and timely manner, our response to Iran indicates that they have until January 5, 2022 to confirm whether they are willing to engage in negotiations,” the group said.

“After which, we will have to assume that further attempts to negotiate reparations with Iran are futile,” the group said, and added they “will have to seriously consider other actions to resolve this matter within the framework of international law”.

In late November, the trial of 10 soldiers in connection with the jetliner's downing opened in Tehran.

Iran initially denied responsibility for the incident, but later admitted its forces — mistaking the plane for a cruise missile — had shot the plane down.

It came at a time of particularly high tension after the US killed the highly influential Iranian leader Qassem Suleimani. Tehran responded by attacking US bases in Iraq.

Updated: December 16, 2021, 5:24 PM
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