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Tehran Rejects Canada's Complaint Over Ukraine Plane Crash


UKRAINE -- A memorial square to victims of the UIA plane crash of PS752, which was shot down near Tehran, was opened at Boryspil Airport. Kyiv

Saeed Khatibzadeh, the spokesman for Iran's foreign ministry, says the Iranian government "has not received and will not receive" any Canadian government complaints about the Ukrainian plane's downing over Tehran on January 8.

According to IRNA, Iran's official news agency, Khatibzadeh was quoted on Friday as saying that "the Canadian court has no jurisdiction" in this case and that "judicial proceedings will be conducted inside Iran."

The Canadians, Khatibzadeh said, can file a lawsuit at the "competent court" set inside Iran to hear the case.

Khatibzadeh's remarks were a response to a report published earlier by the Canadian National Post.

"The federal government [of Canada] confirmed to lawyers recently that it delivered two class-action lawsuits to Tehran's foreign affairs ministry, clearing a roadblock for the civil suits over January's airliner shoot-down to move ahead in Canadian courts," the National Post reported on September 8.

Canada filed suit in January soon after the crash of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752, with the National Report revealing a joint lawsuit against the Islamic Republic Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as well as the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) other Iranian officials filed at a Toronto court.

In their petition to the Canadian court, the victims' families referred to the incident as a "terrorist act." Copies of the petition were sent to the Iranian embassies in Australia and Britain.

For his part, Khatibzadeh has announced that a court investigation into the tragic case is underway. Nevertheless, eight months after the deadly disaster, no information about the hearing has so far published.

Meanwhile, some of the Ukrainian plane crash victims' families have repeatedly expressed their despair over the handling of the case and the officials' negligence in Iran.

"We have no hope at all," said the father of the 28-year-old Mehraban Badiei Ardestani, who was killed in the plane crash.

The brother of Mohammad Amin Beirouti, a 29-year-old Iranian who used to work in Canada and was later killed in the plane crash, also lamented that Iranian officials never contacted them, nor do they expect any response.

The families of the plane crash victims who live outside Iran have formed an association to sue Iran for the tragedy.

Named the "PS752 Family Association", it has repeatedly criticized Islamic Republic officials' negligence and inappropriate comments.

In an interview with Radio Farda on August 25, the spokesman for the Association of the Families of the Victims of Flight 752, Hamed Esmaielion, stressed that some of the victims' families had been harassed and disrespected by Iranian judiciary officials during their visits to the military court to follow their loved ones' case.

The victims' families also went to Kyiv's Embassy in Tehran on August 25 and met with Ukraine's ambassador to Iran, Sergey Burdylyak, to express their concern about the process.

Iran at first denied any involvement in the crash. Three days alter, when overwhelming evidence emerged showing the plane had been shot down, the IRGC claimed it was "an accident due to human error" and that the missile operator had fired without orders from his superiors.

For more than six months, Iranian authorities refused to hand over the plane's black boxes to other countries that could decode the contents, before finally surrendering the flight records and sending them to France for decoding and analysis.

The crash victims included 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, eleven Ukrainians, ten Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans, and three Britons.

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