A woman places a candle beneath photographs of some of the people who died in the downing of Ukrainian Airlines Flight 752 in Iran, during a vigil for the victims of the flight, at the Har El synagogue in West Vancouver, on Sunday January 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A woman places a candle beneath photographs of some of the people who died in the downing of Ukrainian Airlines Flight 752 in Iran, during a vigil for the victims of the flight, at the Har El synagogue in West Vancouver, on Sunday January 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Iran allocates payment to families of Ukraine crash victims

Those killed included dozens of Canadian citizens and permanent residents

Iran’s cabinet has created a compensation fund to pay the families of the 176 victims of a Ukrainian passenger plane that was shot down by Iranian forces outside Tehran last January, the president announced Wednesday.

Iran will pay $150,000 for each victim, state TV reported, without specifying a timeline for the awards. The announcement comes as the families of victims prepare to mark the anniversary of the Jan. 8 crash and diplomats from nations that lost citizens push Iran for more co-operation on the investigation and compensation issues.

There was no immediate comment on Iran’s announcement from the five countries, including Canada, that are in talks with Iran about reparations.

Those killed included dozens of Canadian citizens and permanent residents, and many others with ties to Canadian universities.

For days, Iran denied that its military was responsible for the downing of the plane. But with extensive evidence emerging from Western intelligence reports and international pressure building, Iran admitted that its military had mistakenly fired at the Ukrainian jetliner at a moment of heightened tension between Iran and the United States. Hostilities had reached a fever pitch the week before over the American drone strike that killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, raising fears of further violence in the region.

Western intelligence officials and analysts believe Iran shot down the aircraft with a Russian-made Tor system, known to NATO as the SA-15. Tehran blamed “human error” for the shoot-down, saying in a report released over the summer that those manning a misaligned surface-to-air missile battery wrongly identified the civilian flight as a threat and opened fire twice without getting approval from ranking officials.

Canadian authorities allege that Iran has not disclosed all relevant evidence or provided satisfactory answers to a number of lingering questions, including the identities of those held responsible for the downing, the exact chain of events that led the Revolutionary Guard to open fire and the decision to leave Iranian airspace open to civilian traffic the same night that Iran launched a barrage of ballistic missiles at U.S. forces in Iraq.

The plane, a Boeing 737 operated by Ukraine International Airlines bound for the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew members from several countries, including 82 Iranians, 57 Canadians, 17 Swedes, 11 Ukrainians, four Afghans and four British citizens according to officials. The route was popular with those travelling onward to Canada.

READ MORE: Families of Flight 752 victims demand plan, timeline for holding Iran to account

For months, the governments of the five affected countries have demanded that Tehran accept “full responsibility” for the crash and pay compensation to the victims’ families in line with international agreements.

Iran, for its part, has sent mixed messages on the matter of compensation, with Gholamreza Soleimani, the head of the country’s main insurance agency, saying in October that Iran would refuse to pay awards because the jet was “insured by European companies.”

But other Iranian officials have promised to negotiate compensation with the five countries.

“A mistake has been made by us but the base of the compensation should be decided,” said Mohsen Baharvand, deputy to the foreign minister, in September. “We have told our Ukrainian colleagues that international regulations are our basis.”

The association representing the families of victims released a statement last week lambasting Iran’s compensation offer and demanding an independent and transparent investigation into the crash.

“The families are vigilant and will not sign any document,” the statement read. “The murderer cannot play the role of mourner.”

Isabel Debre, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Flight 752 crash in Iran

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A grass fire west of Williams Lake, seen here Tuesday, is considered to be being held by members of the BC Wildfire Service. (Photo submitted)
Bella Coola Valley Arts Council’s (BCVAC) Ida Eriksen enjoys a full life since retiring to the Bella Coola Valley Coola in 2013. She volunteers for BCVAC and likes to carve out time for art, gardening and hiking. (Photo submitted)
Art House Gallery keeps community connections close during COVID times

An art sale of the artwork of Ernest and Jill Hall will take place this weekend

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

A black bear tries to get at a bird feeder at a home near Williams Lake. (Laura Ulrich photo)
Managing bear attractants a top priority in B.C. for 2021: Conservation Officer Service

Garbage, fruit trees, bird feeders, compost and livestock are common attractants for bears

B.C. Cattlemen’s Association general manager Kevin Boon. (B.C. Cattlemen’s Association photo)
COVID, BSE, water access and private land rights: B.C. Cattlemen’s general manager weighs in

Kevin Boon said positive aspect of pandemic is more people interested in where their food comes from

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller said it would be “very challenging and not very safe” for him and his teammates to play as scheduled on Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canucks’ return to ice postponed again after players voice COVID health concerns

Friday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers was called off after the team met virtually with the NHLPA

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Attorney General David Eby, Minister Responsible for Housing. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. announces $2B for affordable, middle-income family home projects

New HousingHub financing funds will encourage developers, groups – with low-interest loans – to build affordable homes

Video captured Wednesday, April 14, shows a white BMW driving along the seawall between Vancouver’s Plaza of Nations and Science World. (Krimda Toravantian/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Motorist takes a drive along Vancouver seawall

Pedestrians near False Creek expressed disbelief after seeing the car join them on the walking path

Most Read