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Ukraine President Threatens Lawsuit Against Iran Over Downed Airliner

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy (3L) attends a meeting with Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development, in Kyiv, January 20, 2020
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy (3L) attends a meeting with Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development, in Kyiv, January 20, 2020

The President of the Ukraine has threatened that if Iran does not fulfill its obligations regarding the Ukrainian airliner downed in January over Tehran, Kyiv will file a lawsuit against the Islamic Republic in international courts.

Iran should respect all its obligations, including the delivery of the black boxes of the downed plane, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy reiterated on Monday, June 22.

Zelenskiy also insisted that the issue is not limited to handing over the passenger plane's flight recorders, and Iran must "formally apologize" for the downing of the plane and pay appropriate compensation.

"Iran is aware of our position and knows that if it does not live up to its promises, we will file a legal suit against Tehran in international courts," he said.

As Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 took off from Tehran's Imam Khomeini international airport on January 8, heading for Kyiv, two missiles were fired at the plane, which crashed near the capital city, killing all 167 people aboard.

Victims of the crash included 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, eleven Ukrainians, ten Sweden, four Afghans, three Germans, and three Britons.

After three days of secrecy and denial, the Iranian Armed Forces finally admitted that the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) shot down the plane with anti-air missiles.

Meanwhile, Canada has also pressured Iran to live up to its promises.

Although Tehran has admitted that it is not capable of reading and decoding the plane's black boxes, it has refused to hand them over to a third party capable of doing so.

Iran's Minister of Roads and Urban Development, Mohammad Eslami, said on June 17 that the flight recorders would be sent to Ukraine first. If they failed to read the data, they would probably be sent to France, Salami promised.

In the latest development concerning the dispute, the Islamic Republic Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on Monday, June 22, that he had told his Canadian counterpart, Francois-Philippe Champagne, Iran will send the black boxes to France within the next few days to have the data analyzed.

Foreign Minister Zarif also notified his Canadian counterpart that Iran has already informed Ukraine of its readiness to address the legal issues, the procedure for paying compensation to the families of the passengers who have died in the tragic incident, as well as paying compensation for the Ukrainian jetliner, the IRGC-linked Tasnim news agency reported.