Ukraine sues Iran over 2020 downed plane

Ukraine files a lawsuit at the International Court of Justice, seeking to hold Iran accountable for shooting down flight PS752

Ukraine sues Iran over 2020 downed plane

Ukraine sues Iran over 2020 downed plane

Kiev says it has filed a lawsuit to ensure Tehran is held accountable for shooting down flight 752

Ukraine has filed a lawsuit against Iran at the UN’s International Court of Justice for the 2020 downing of a civilian airliner, Kiev’s Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday.

According to a statement published on the ministry’s website, 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 UK, are demanding that Tehran be held accountable for the incident. 

The ministry noted 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.”

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, the aircraft exploded in mid-air, killing all 176 people on board. The victims included citizens of Ukraine and Iran, along with nationals of the UK, Germany, Canada, Sweden and Afghanistan.

A week later, the Iranian military admitted that they had mistakenly shot down the Boeing, which was flying near a military facility, after confusing it for an “enemy target.” The incident occurred at a time when Iran was bracing for a potential US retaliation for ballistic missile strikes on American military bases in Iraq. Tehran ultimately blamed the incident on a string of human errors, as well as a trigger-happy operator of the air defense system. 

Iran also pledged to pay $150,000 dollars to the families of each victim, in addition to compensation payments ordered by the court, and announced in January 2022 that it had started transferring the funds. 

Kiev, however, accused Tehran for failing to take full responsibility for the incident or ensure that such tragedies do not happen again.