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 tow truck works to pull a dump truck from a ditch at 176 Street and 40 Avenue, following a two-vehicle incident Tuesday (Jan. 19) afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)
PHOTOS: Dump truck, car collide in South Surrey

Intersection – 176 Street and 40 Avenue – was site of 2019 fatal collision

An electric vehicle charging station in front of Hope’s municipal hall, district hall. (Photo: Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard)
40 electric vehicle charging stations planned for Surrey

Funding coming from all three levels of government

Police on the scene of a homicide in South Surrey’s Morgan Heights neighbourhood earlier this month. (Tracy Holmes photo)
Crime Stoppers received more than 500 tips related to gang activity in 2020: report

Metro Vancouver organization “urging local residents to keep providing anonymous tips”

Family and friends of Hudson Brooks marched as part of a call for answers from an IIO investigation into his 2015 death. (Black Press Media files)
Inquest to look into RCMP shooting death of Hudson Brooks

Charges agains the RCMP officer who shot Brooks were stayed in 2019

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

A child joins the Uke ‘n Play kickoff event at the Chilliwack Library on Oct. 1, 2016. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Events return, in virtual form, at Fraser Valley Regional Library

People can take part in ukulele jam, bullet journaling, reading groups and more

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

People wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 walk past a window display at a store in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, December 13, 2020. The association representing businesses across Metro Vancouver says the costs of COVID-19 continue to mount for its members.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Greater Vancouver business organization says members face uncertain outlook in 2021

Many Greater Vancouver businesses are barely treading water as they enter 2021

Most Read