A special Canadian forensic team published a report on Thursday, indicating that the downing of Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752 was not pre-planned. Yet, it stated that Iranian authorities did not investigate the incident adequately and failed to detect the Iranian officials who were responsible for the incident.
On Friday, the Iranian authorities issued a statement rejecting the Canadian report on the ground that the report is based on highly politicized prejudices. Speaking to local media, the Iranian deputy foreign minister for international and legal affairs, Mohsen Baharvand, said that Canada has no authority to conduct such a report on an air crash outside their jurisdiction.
Stressing that his country has fulfilled its obligations under international law, Baharvand added that Iranian authorities submitted sufficient documents and expertise for any required clarifications. In his speech, the Iranian deputy foreign minister also noted that “If this highly politicized and illegal behavior by Canada became the norm, all countries, even the civil aviation industry, would be the main victims.”
In April, Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice ruled that the downing of a Ukrainian plane was an “act of terrorism” committed by Iran. The court’s verdict was categorically rejected by Tehran. Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Saeed Khatibzadeh, said, “Everyone knows that the Canadian court is fundamentally not qualified to judge this aviation accident or potential negligence in an incident that is outside the territory and jurisdiction of Canada.”
A plane with flight number PS752, belonging to Ukraine Airlines, was shot down by missiles fired by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in January 2020. All 176 people, heading to Canada via Kyiv, lost their lives. Iranian authorities initially denied its involvement in the accident. But then partially confirmed its responsibility saying that it was an accident caused by “human error” related to the calibration of missile systems.
In December 2020, the Iranian cabinet decided to give compensation amounting to $150,000 for each of the families of the victims, without setting any timeline for the payments. Besides, Tehran’s military court announced in April that the indictments were completed and “officials who had responsibility in the incident would soon appear in court where the families of the victims would also be present.