Dec 30 (Reuters) – Iran’s cabinet on Wednesday allocated $150,000 for the families of each of the 176 victims of a Ukrainian plane shot down in Iranian airspace in January, the official IRNA news agency reported.
Describing Iran’s handling of the situation as “unacceptable”, Ukraine said the amount of compensation should be negotiated and called for those responsible to be brought to justice.
An Iranian government statement said: “The cabinet approved the provision of $150,000 or the equivalent in euros as soon as possible to the families and survivors of each of the victims of the Ukrainian plan crash,” IRNA reported .
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said they accidentally shot down the Ukraine International Airlines plane shortly after take off, mistaking it for a missile when tensions with the United States were high.
Five days earlier, the United States had killed Revolutionary Guards commander Qassem Soleimani with a drone strike in Iraq.
Ukraine’s foreign ministry said the compensation amount should be determined through negotiations, taking into account international practice, and that establishing the causes of the tragedy and bringing those responsible to justice was a prerequisite.
“The Ukrainian side expects from Iran a draft technical report on the circumstances of the aircraft shooting down,” ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko said, adding that Iran had yet to implement earlier agreements, without giving details.
“This situation is especially unacceptable, since we are talking about the fate of innocent people,” Nikolenko said. “Ukraine, together with other affected countries, will continue to make every effort to establish justice in this case and bring those responsible to justice.”
Iran’s Roads and Urban Development Minister Mohammad Eslami told state television on Wednesday that the final report on the crash had been sent to the countries participating in the investigation.
Many of the victims were Canadian citizens or residents. (Additional reporting by Pavel Polityuk in Kyiv; firstname.lastname@example.org Editing by Giles Elgood)