Nations refer Iran to international court over downing of Ukraine plane

Iran's Revolutionary Guards shot down the Ukraine flight shortly after it took off from Tehran.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards shot down the Ukraine flight shortly after it took off from Tehran. Photo: AP

Canada, Sweden, Ukraine and Britain have asked the International Court of Justice to open proceedings against Iran over the shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger plane that killed all 176 people on board.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards shot down the Ukraine International Airlines flight on January 8, 2020, shortly after it took off from Tehran Airport in what Iranian officials said at the time was a “disastrous mistake”.

In their application to the international court, also known as the World Court, the four countries said Iran had violated “a series of obligations” against the so-called Montreal Convention, aimed at securing the safety of civilian air travel.

They said Iran had failed to take all practicable measures to prevent the downing of Flight PS752 and had failed to conduct an impartial, transparent and fair criminal investigation and prosecution.

Most of the people killed in the crash were citizens of the four countries, which created a co-ordination group aiming to hold Iran to account.

Iran says its forces accidentally shot down the Boeing 737 jet at a time when tensions were high between Tehran and Washington, and a final report issued in 2021 blamed a misaligned radar and an error by an air defence operator.

Canada at the time said the report made “no attempt to answer critical questions about what truly happened”.

Ukraine called it a cynical attempt by Iranian authorities to cover up the true reasons for the crash, which it said it suspected was intentional.


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