Rescue workers search the scene where a Ukrainian plane crashed in Shahedshahr, southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, on January 8, 2020. The head of Iran’s civil aviation organization says his government will launch compensation talks in October with Canada and other countries that lost citizens when the Iranian military shot down a civilian jetliner earlier this year. Touraj Dehqani Zangeneh made the comments to Iran’s official news agency over the weekend amid new Iranian claims about what happened on Jan. 8, when Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 was downed shortly after takeoff from Tehran. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Ebrahim Noroozi

Rescue workers search the scene where a Ukrainian plane crashed in Shahedshahr, southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, on January 8, 2020. The head of Iran’s civil aviation organization says his government will launch compensation talks in October with Canada and other countries that lost citizens when the Iranian military shot down a civilian jetliner earlier this year. Touraj Dehqani Zangeneh made the comments to Iran’s official news agency over the weekend amid new Iranian claims about what happened on Jan. 8, when Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 was downed shortly after takeoff from Tehran. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Ebrahim Noroozi

Compensation talks for victims of downed jetliner to start in October: Iran

Iran initially denied responsibility before admitting that the plane went down after being hit by Iranian missiles

The head of Iran’s civil aviation organization says his government will launch compensation talks in October with Canada and other countries that lost citizens when the Iranian military shot down a civilian jetliner earlier this year.

Touraj Dehqani Zangeneh made the comments to Iran’s official news agency over the weekend amid new Iranian claims about the circumstances surrounding the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 on Jan. 8.

Speaking to the Islamic Republic News Agency, Dehqani Zangeneh said the Iranian government was prepared to fully compensate the families of the 176 people killed in the crash, which included 55 Canadians and 30 permanent residents.

Iran initially denied responsibility before admitting, in the face of mounting evidence and international pressure, that the plane — which was on the first leg of a flight from Iran to Canada via Ukraine — went down after being hit by two Iranian missiles.

“What is evident is that Iran has accepted the responsibility for its mistake and therefore the country is ready for negotiations on paying full compensation for what (it has) done,” Dehqani Zangeneh was quoted as saying to IRNA.

Canada, along with the other countries that lost citizens on Flight PS752 — Britain, Sweden, Afghanistan and Ukraine — signed an agreement July 2 promising to work together to force Iran to pay compensation to the victims’ families.

News of the planned compensation talks came as the Civil Aviation Organization of Iran published a report on Sunday about the data downloaded from the Boeing 737’s flight and voice recorders.

The so-called black boxes have emerged as a focal point in efforts to fully understand the circumstances surrounding the downing of Flight PS752, with Iran dragging its feet for months before finally transferring them to France for downloading last month.

The recorders had only 19 seconds of conversation after the first explosion, according to the report, even though Dehqani Zangeneh said the second missile hit the plane 25 seconds later.

“Right after the detonation sound, the three flight crew members inside the cockpit noticed the unusual situation and immediately began taking actions required to control the aircraft accordingly,” according to the civil aviation organization report.

“The post-detonation sounds show that all the three crew members inside the cockpit had been controlling the situation without any indication of injury/damage to their health. … As yet, there exists no voice or sign revealing the passenger cabin’s conditions in the recorded data and audios.”

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada confirmed Sunday that it had received the report, which chair Kathy Fox described as “consistent with information that TSB investigators received while attending the download of the recorders in France.”

“The investigation is far from over,” she added, “as there are still many key questions that need to be answered.”

The TSB said it will continue to push for a “thorough, transparent and credible safety investigation” to determine the sequence of events leading up to the downing of Flight PS752 and why Iran didn’t close its airspace to civilian planes on the night of Jan. 8.

The plane was shot down shortly after taking off from Tehran’s main airport on the same night Iran launched a ballistic missile attack targeting U.S. soldiers in Iraq — a response to the American drone strike that killed a prominent Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani, in Baghdad on Jan. 3.

READ MORE: Iran retrieves data, cockpit talk from downed Ukrainian plane

Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne told The Canadian Press in an interview Sunday that he was still being briefed on the findings.

An association representing the families of those killed on board Flight PS752 dismissed Dehqani Zangeneh’s statement, saying it raised more questions than answers, including why the Iranian anti-aircraft unit fired a second missile at the airliner.

“Our important questions regarding the reason for the delayed takeoff and the pilot’s communications within that hour, which should have been included in the report of the black boxes, have also been left conspicuously unanswered,” the Association of Families of Flight PS752 Victims said in a statement.

Many victims’ families have dismissed from the start the Iranian government’s claims about the circumstances surrounding the jetliner’s downing, and called instead for an independent investigation to ensure those responsible are held to account.

They have also said that any talk about compensation must be preceded by uncovering the truth of what happened.

An Iranian report last month blamed a number of errors for what it suggested was an avoidable tragedy, starting with the surface-to-air missile battery that targeted the Boeing 737-800 having been relocated and not properly reoriented.

Those manning the missile battery also could not communicate with their command centre, the report said. They also misidentified the civilian flight as a threat and opened fire twice without getting approval from ranking officials.

The report did not say why the Iranian military moved the air-defence system, but noted the Ukrainian flight had done nothing out of the ordinary up until the missile launch, with its transponder and other data being broadcast.

—with files from The Associated Press

Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press

Flight 752 crash in Iran

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
81 new cases of COVID-19 detected in Interior Health Friday

One additional staff member at Kelowna long-term care home tests positive, no new deaths

A case of Covid-19 was identified at Cranbrook Montessori Pre-School last week.
Covid identified at Cranbrook Montessori

A case of Covid-19 was identified at Cranbrook Montessori Pre-School last week.… Continue reading

The 2020 Wasa Triathlon was cancelled. Above, the bike portion of the 2019 event. Bulletin file
Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon committee is going ahead with planning 2021 event

Lots of uncertainty, but the committee has decided its too early to cancel

Bootleg Gap Golf Course has been sold to Simkins Golf Management Inc. for $3 million.
Bootleg Gap Golf Course sold to Simkins Golf Management for $3 million

After the decision was made to sell back in October 2019, Council… Continue reading

Dorothy Kilgallen, circa 1952 (irishamerica.com)
Booknotes: Fearless reporter among the greatest of all time

Mike Selby “Success has not changed Frank Sinatra,” wrote journalist Dorothy Kilgallen… Continue reading

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Interior Health says Salmo’s COVID-19 cases have been contained. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Interior Health: Salmo’s COVID-19 cases are contained

Every person who tested positive has recovered

Most Read