Iranian and Ukrainian officials held second round of talks over issues related to a Kiev-bound passenger plane mistakenly shot down by Iran in January.
The talks were held at Iran’s Foreign Ministry in Tehran and would continue until Wednesday, according to IRNA.
The first round of negotiations were held in Kiev in July, with the Ukrainian authorities saying they were optimistic about the process.
Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for International and Legal Affairs Mohsen Baharvand and his Ukrainian counterpart Yevgheniy Yenin co-chaired the Monday’s meeting.
At the beginning of the talks, the participants observed a minute's silence to honor the victims of the plane crash happened on January 8.
The head of the Iranian delegation expressed sympathy with the families of victims of the plane crash, saying, “The Ukrainian plane was shot due to human error, and the Islamic Republic of Iran will try to assure the Ukrainian side of this as well”, according to Tasnim News Agency.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s stance is based upon transparency, as it has nothing to hide about this incident and is ready to genuinely inform the Ukrainian people and delegation about details of the incident,” Baharvand added.
Baharvand also reaffirmed Iran’s determination to take punitive action and punish those at fault, ensure justice, and pay compensation to the families of victims.
For his part, the Ukrainian deputy foreign minister hailed as positive the first round of negotiations in Kiev and praised Iran for its cooperation and efforts to ensure justice.
Baharvand said on Saturday that both sides’ technical, judicial and legal experts will hold separate meetings during the talks.
On January 8, Iran mistakenly shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 shortly after takeoff from Tehran’s main airport. All 176 aboard were killed. The majority of the victims were Iranian or Canadian, and many were dual nationals.
Among the victims were citizens from Canada, Ukraine, Sweden, Afghanistan and the United Kingdom.
Despite attributing the crash to technical failure in initial assessments, Iran ultimately said that the plane had been brought down by a missile fired unintentionally due to human error after further investigations.
Iran also called it a “disastrous mistake” that happened at a time when air defense forces were on high alert in case the US retaliated against Iranian missile strikes hours earlier on American military bases stationed in Iraq.
Those strikes were carried out in response to the assassination of Iranian anti-terrorism commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, in a US drone strike near Baghdad airport on Jan. 3.