Five countries to discuss action against Iran

The countries whose citizens died when the plane was shot down by Tehran will meet in London

January 13, 2020 10:39 pm | Updated November 28, 2021 11:49 am IST

Standoff: Protesters hold flowers as police fire tear gas during a demonstration in front of a university in Tehran.

Standoff: Protesters hold flowers as police fire tear gas during a demonstration in front of a university in Tehran.

Five nations whose citizens died when an airliner was shot down by Iran last week will meet in London on Thursday to discuss possible legal action, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister said.

Speaking on the sidelines of an official visit to Singapore on Monday, Vadym Prystaiko said the countries would also discuss compensation and the investigation into the incident. All 176 people on board the flight died in the crash on Wednesday, minutes after the plane took off from Tehran airport.

Mr. Prystaiko said suggestions from Iran that the Ukrainian International Airlines plane was downed as it flew near a sensitive military base during a time of heightened tensions were “nonsense”. He said Tehran had agreed to hand over the plane’s black boxes to Kiev for investigation.

“We have created this group of Foreign Ministers from the grieving nations. On January 16, we will meet in person in London to discuss the ways, including legal, how we are following this up, how we are prosecuting them (Iran),” Mr. Prystaiko said.


He said the five nations also included Canada — which had at least 57 passport holders aboard the doomed flight — Sweden, Afghanistan and a fifth country, which he did not name.

Many on board were Iranians with dual citizenship.

After days of denials, Iran said on Saturday its military had shot down the plane in a “disastrous mistake”. Mr. Prystaiko said Ukraine was not informed by Iran that it would be taking responsibility before that public announcement.

Tehran said its air defences were fired in error while on alert after Iranian missile strikes on U.S. targets in Iraq.

“This is nonsense because our plane was recorded and confirmed — was going within the international route which was given by the dispatchers... Nothing was extraordinary,” Mr. Prystaiko said, adding that investigators said the pilot’s last words were “everything is ok on board and I am switching to auto pilot.”

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