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Iranian Delegation Arrives In Kiev To Discuss Compensation For Downed Ukrainian Flight

A view of the flight recorder from the Iranian missile-downed Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) Flight PS752 Boeing 737 jet, as work begins at the BEA investigation bureau in Le Bourget, July 20, 2020

Iranian news agencies on Thursday reported that a delegation headed by Deputy Foreign Minister for International and Legal Affairs Mohsen Baharvand has arrived in Kiev for talks with the Ukrainian authorities over the downing of Flight PS752 over Tehran on January 8.

Last week Ukrainian authorities said Iran had promised to send a delegation to Ukraine to negotiate compensation. This was earlier confirmed by Baharvand who said the delegation accompanying him to Kiev would consist of several organizations including the Civil Aviation Organization (CAO), the Legal Affairs Bureau of the Presidential Office, and the Judiciary.

Baharvand commented that the amount of the compensation had not been proposed by any of the parties yet and would be determined on the basis of international laws regarding such incidents.

Iranian authorities and government and semi-government news agencies have downplayed "compensation" as the main subject of the talks. Mehr News Agency has reported that the delegation will discuss "various technical and legal aspects of the incident".

"The flight was unintentionally shot down by an Iranian air defense unit," the Mehr report claims and repeats the official line that the operator of the missile system that downed the flight shortly after taking off from Tehran on January 8 "had mistaken the Boeing jetliner for a cruise missile".

Ukraine, however, has rejected attribution of the incident to "human error".

On July 22, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuelba said Iran must admit its international legal responsibility for shooting down the Ukrainian plane, apologize and provide assurance that such events will never happen again, conduct a technical investigation in accordance with the requirements of the Chicago Convention, conduct an impartial and independent criminal investigation, and bring all the guilty to justice.

"I emphasize, all the guilty," he said and added that Iran must pay proper compensation.