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Ukraine Tells Zarif Iran Must Provide Full Explanation For Downed Airliner

Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine's foreign minister. FILE PHOTO
Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine's foreign minister. FILE PHOTO

Ukraine expects to receive full information from Iran about the circumstances in which Iranian forces shot down an airliner in January, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, told Mohammad Javad Zarif, on Wednesday, August 5.

The report should respect all international standards, Kuleba reminded Zarif.

The ministers also discussed the results of the first round of negotiations on compensation to the crash victims' families that ended August 2.

"The Ukrainian foreign minister stressed that at the next round of talks in October, Ukraine expects to receive all the necessary information about the circumstances of the plane crash from the Iranian side. According to him, after establishing all the facts about the tragedy, it will be possible to start calculating the amount of compensation," Ukraine Foreign Ministry reiterated in a report.

Meanwhile, Kuleba and Zarif agreed that their forthcoming meeting in October should be fruitful, after which it would be possible to assess and calculate compensation from the Iranian government.

Speaking to Kuleba on the phone, Zarif also voiced Iran's readiness to pay compensation to the families and relatives of the plane crash victims. Zarif described the settlement as a step to alleviate their grief.

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

After three days of secrecy and denial, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps ascribed the incident to “human error”.

Iran refused for months to hand over the doomed plane's black boxes for deciphering, while repeatedly admitting that it was not capable of reading the flight recorders.

However, under international pressure, the crashed Boeing's black boxes were delivered to France on July 17.

Tehran still insists that a "human error" had led to the tragedy, a claim that Ukraine and Canada have dismissed. They say the Islamic Republic must provide an accurate report and a convincing explanation. Furthermore, Ukraine seeks maximum compensation for the victims' relatives.

The appointment of expert groups to investigate the tragedy and the timing of the second round of talks in Tehran next October were among the most important agreements reached during the first round of negotiations, the Islamic Republic's official news agency, IRNA, reported on August 5.