In a collaborative effort, Canada, Sweden, Ukraine, and Britain have jointly filed a complaint with the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) against Iran regarding the tragic 2020 plane crash that claimed the lives of all 176 people on board, primarily Canadians and Iranians.
The complaint accuses Tehran of “using weapons against a civil aircraft in flight in breach of its international legal obligations,” marking a significant step in the pursuit of justice for the victims and their families.
On January 8, 2020, tragedy struck when Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752, a Boeing 737-800, was downed shortly after takeoff from Tehran. The victims included citizens from the four filing nations, prompting them to initiate “dispute settlement proceedings” with the ICAO in Montreal on the fourth anniversary of the incident.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau emphasized the importance of the filing, stating, “This is an important step in our commitment to ensuring that the families of the victims impacted by this tragedy get the justice they deserve.”
Iran admitted three days after the incident that its military had mistakenly targeted the Kyiv-bound plane with two surface-to-air missiles. Despite acknowledging the error, Iran has been reluctant to take full legal responsibility for the downing, prompting the filing nations to seek justice through international channels.
The Iranian Civil Aviation Organization attributed the tragic mistake to heightened tensions between Iran and the United States at the time, pointing to the “alertness” of its troops on the ground.
The joint statement released by the four nations highlighted Iran’s refusal to fully acknowledge its legal responsibility over the past four years, leading them to pursue justice through various avenues, including an appeal to the International Court of Justice in July. The ongoing efforts underscore the commitment to holding Iran accountable and obtaining reparations for the families affected by the devastating incident.