Iran to pay $150,000 to downed plane victims' families
Tehran will pay $150,000 to each family of the 176 victims killed when a Ukrainian passenger plane was mistakenly shot down by Iran in January, the presidency said Wednesday.
Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran's airport on January 8, killing all 176 people on board.
The Islamic republic admitted three days later that its forces accidentally shot down the Kiev-bound Boeing 737-800 plane after firing two missiles, amid heightened US-Iran tensions.
"The cabinet approved the provision of $150,000, or the equivalent in euros... for the families and survivors of each of the victims of the Ukrainian plane crash as soon as possible," Iran's presidency said, according to the official IRNA news agency.
"This compensation does not prevent the prosecution of the criminal element of the case before the competent judicial authority," the statement added.
Many of those killed were Iranians and Canadians, with 85 Canadian citizens or permanent residents, some dual nationals.
Tehran's air defences had been on high alert at the time in case the US retaliated against Iranian strikes hours earlier on American troops stationed in Iraq, which in turn had been in response to the US assassination of Iran's top commander, General Qasem Soleimani.
Ukraine's foreign minister said in July that he hoped to obtain as much financial compensation as possible in order to alleviate "the pain and mourning" of the relatives of the victims.
A Ukrainian delegation visited Tehran in October for talks on possible financial compensation.
Iranian Foreign Affairs then indicated that the negotiations had focused in particular on "compensation for families and the airline".
"The owner of the plane, Ukraine, and Boeing were present for the investigation," Eslami said, according to IRNA.