Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry announced that Ukraine, along with other members of the International Coordination Group for Assistance to the Victims of Flight PS752, which comprises Canada, Sweden, Ukraine and the United Kingdom, has filed a lawsuit against Iran at the United Nations’ International Court of Justice, over the 2020 downing of Flight 752 – scheduled international civilian passenger flight from Tehran to Kyiv, operated by Ukraine International Airlines (UIA).
On January 8, 2020, a Boeing 737-800 operated by Ukraine International Airlines was en route from Tehran to Kiev. Shortly after take-off from Imam Khomeini International Airport for Boryspil International Airport in the Ukrainian capital, the aircraft was shot down by the terrorist Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and exploded in mid-air, killing all 176 people on board. The victims included citizens of Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Sweden and Afghanistan.
Initially, Tehran government vehemently denied any Iran’s involvement in UIA disaster, and anly a week later, the Iranian military admitted that they had mistakenly shot down the Boeing after “confusing” it for an “enemy target.” Tehran ultimately blamed the incident on a “string of human errors”, as well as a “trigger-happy” operator of the air defense system.
In April this year, a military court in Iran handed down token prison terms to ten defendants – the commander of the air defense system, the defense system’s crew, a Tehran military base commander, an officer at the regional operations control center and a regional Air Defense commander, over the UIA tragedy.
Iran also pledged to pay $150,000 dollars to the families of each victim, in addition to compensation payments ordered by the court.
Ukraine, along with other members of the International Coordination Group for Assistance to the Victims of Flight PS752, however, accused Tehran of failing to take full responsibility for the criminal attack or ensure that such tragedies do not happen again.
In its official statement, announcing the lawsuit against Iran, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry said that “no agreement has yet been reached between Iran and the Coordination Group to organize arbitration under Article 14 of the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts aimed against the safety of civil aviation.”