0732 GMT January 20, 2022
The second martyrdom anniversary of the victims of a Ukrainian passenger plane crash near the Iranian capital was commemorated at a ceremony in Tehran's Behesht Zahra cemetery on Friday.
The ceremony was attended by Iranian Vice President and President of the Martyr Foundation and Veterans Affairs Amir-Hossein Qazizadeh Hashemi, according to isaar.ir.
On January 8, 2020, the Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752, en route to Kiev while carrying mostly Iranians, crashed minutes after takeoff near the Iranian capital, killing all of the 176 passengers and crew on board.
Hours before the tragedy, Iran had launched a retaliatory missile strike, as part of its revenge for the Jan. 3, 2020 U.S. assassination of anti-terror commander Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, against a U.S.-run base in western Iraq and put the country’s air defenses on high alert due to increased American aerial activity in the aftermath of the strike.
Iran acknowledged days later that the mismanagement of an air defense unit’s radar system by its operator was the key human error that led to the accident.
Tehran has promised that all those culpable in the incident would face justice and allocated 200 million euros for compensation to the victim’s families.
Paying tribute to the souls of the plane crash martyrs, Qazizadeh Hashemi said on the second anniversary of the tragic event, “We pay respect to the sad incident’s martyrs and hold their memories dear”.
He added that measures have been taken to provide services to the martyrs’ families, noting that cases pertaining to 73 families, out of a total of 133, are being handled, while expressing readiness to work on the other families’ cases.
The vice president expressed hope that the legal procedures in handling the cases would be conducted and those culpable would be introduced in order to help assuage the bereaved families.
He noted that some of the martyrs’ families are living abroad, saying his foundation is prepared to handle their cases as well.
Ready for bilateral talks
In addition, in a Friday statement on the incidents’ anniversary, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said following the tragic event, all of the country’s related organizations announced the main cause of the accident and fulfilled their responsibilities according to domestic law and international commitments precisely, transparently and quickly, according to mfa.gov.ir.
Expressing condolences to the victims’ families, the Foreign Ministry added Iran is prepared to hold bilateral talks with each of the concerned countries over the incident despite illegal measures by certain states seeking to gain political advantages by exploiting the accident and sorrows of the martyrs’ families.
It stressed that any talks should respect “sovereignty, domestic laws and international obligations”.