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

Maria Lewis president of the Prince Rupert Royal Canadian Legion accepts a $5,000 donation gifted via an artillery shell from Shawn MacDonald governor of the Prince Rupert Loyal Order of the Moose 1051 on Nov. 13.
Major donation overwhelms Prince Rupert Legion

Prince Rupert Moose Lodge 1051 donates $5,000 to local veterans organization

Air Canada /Jazz flight AC8280 on Nov. 16 from Vancouver to Prince Rupert had a confirmed case of COVID-19, said Air Canada on Nov. 20. (File photo)
Flight into city had confirmed case of COVID-19

Nov. 16 flight from Vancouver to Prince Rupert affected by coronavirus

Prince Rupert carving artist Henry Kelly is having his work installed on Nov. 20, as a permanent art exhibit at the Prince Rupert Regional Airport. The traditional cedar canoe is a welcome symbol to those arriving at YPR. (Photo: supplied)
Art unveiling ceremonies at YPR cancelled due to new pandemic restrictions

Coast Tsimshian Cultural Exhibit at Prince Rupert Regional Airport features local carvers

Cases have gone up in Northern Health in the past week, as they have all over B.C. (K-J Millar/Black Press Media)
Northern Health reports new highest number of COVID-19 cases in one day

Nineteen cases were reported to Public Health last Tuesday (Nov. 17)

FILE – British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Masks now mandatory in all public indoor and retail spaces in B.C.

Many retailers and businesses had voiced their frustration with a lack of mask mandate before

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

A rider carves a path on Yanks Peak Saturday, Nov. 21. Two men from Prince George went missing on the mountain the next day. One of them, Colin Jalbert, made it back after digging out his sled from four feet under the snow. The other, Mike Harbak, is still missing. Local search and rescue teams went out looking Monday, Nov. 23. (Sam Fait Photo)
‘I could still be the one out there’: Snowmobiler rescued, 1 missing on northern B.C. mountain

As Quesnel search and rescue teams search for the remaining rider, Colin Jalbert is resting at home

More than 70 anglers participated in the bar-fishing demonstration fishery on Sept. 9, 2020 on the Fraser River near Chilliwack. DFO officers ticketed six people and seized four rods. A court date is set for Dec. 1, 2020. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Anglers ticketed in Fraser River demonstration fishery heading to court

Sportfishing groups started a GoFundMe with almost $20K so far for legal defence of six anglers

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

Care home staff are diligent about wearing personal protective equipment when they are in contact with residents, but less so when they interact with other staff members, B.C. Seniors Advocate says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
More COVID-19 testing needed for senior home staff, B.C.’s advocate says

Employees mingling spotted as virus conductor in many workplaces

This 2019 photo provided by The ALS Association shows Pat Quinn. Quinn, a co-founder of the viral ice bucket challenge, died Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, at the age of 37. (Scott Kauffman/The ALS Association via AP)
Co-founder of viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge dies at 37

Pat Quinn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2013

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti speaks with the media following party caucus in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Exclusion of mental health as grounds for assisted death is likely temporary: Lametti

Senators also suggested the exclusion renders the bill unconstitutional

Most Read