Canada-led nations demand reparations from Iran for Ukraine flight's downing

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A group of countries led by Canada have demanded reparations from Iran for the victims of downed Ukraine flight 752, whose portraits are seen here on a huge screen at a commemorative ceremony in Kiev in January 2021, one year after the disaster

A group of countries led by Canada said Thursday they've made a claim for reparations against Iran over its downing of a Ukraine jetliner, on behalf of victims' families.

The Islamic republic shot down Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 shortly after take-off from its capital Tehran on January 8, 2020, killing all 176 people aboard, including 85 Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

Three days later, it admitted that its forces had mistakenly targeted the Kiev-bound Boeing 737-800 plane.

Britain, Canada, Sweden and Ukraine said in a joint statement that the two missile strikes on the plane, as well as Iran's "omissions" in an investigation report on the crash, "amount to breaches of international law."

"Our claim states that our respective countries, nationals and residents on board flight PS752 were seriously and irreversibly harmed by the tragedy and Iran must fulfill its legal responsibility to make full reparations to the group of states," they said, calling on Iran to formally begin negotiations on reparations.

In a separate statement, the group also announced that Afghanistan would not take part in the upcoming talks as it focuses on domestic strife.

In a final report in March, the Iranian Civil Aviation Organisation (CAO) pointed to the "alertness" of its troops on the ground who shot the missiles amid heightened tensions between Iran and the United States at the time.

Ukraine, which lost 11 citizens in the disaster, has said the report was "a cynical attempt to hide (the) true causes" of the tragedy, while Canada said it contained "no hard facts or evidence."

Canada and the other nations said they're seeking "equitable compensation for material and moral damages suffered by the victims and their families regardless of nationality and in an amount consistent with its obligations under international law."

They're also demanding from Iran "an acknowledgement of wrongdoing and a full accounting of events that led to the downing," as well as a public apology, the return of victims' missing and stolen belongings, and transparency in its criminal prosecutions of anyone involved.

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