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Ukrainian Airline Sues Iran for $1-Billion in Reparations for Downing of Ukranian Flight

Flight PS-752 wreckage (CBC)

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July 12, 2022

OTTAWA – News has emerged that Ukraine International Airlines has sued Iran for $1-billion in reparations for the deliberate shooting down of Ukranian Flight PS-752.

Filed in court in Ontario, the lawsuit is dated January, 2022, but is just now coming out in public. The lawsuit lists Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as defendants in the murders of the 172 people onboard the doomed flight from Tehran to Kyiv.

The Boeing 800 passenger airplane was shot down immediately after take-off in the early hours of January 8, 2020. Originally denying culpability for the flight’s downing, Iran finally acknowledged its actions and engaged in ongoing negotiations with the International Coordination and Response Group, comprised of Canada, Ukraine, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

On January 5, 2022, Global Affairs Canada stated the Group had decided that discussions were fruitless and the four countries would now pursue Iran under international law. Last year, in a precedent-setting case, an Ontario Superior Court of Justice judge awarded $107-million plus interest to the families of six people who died in the downing of PS-752. The judge ruled that the destruction of the commercial plane shortly after takeoff in Tehran was an intentional act of terrorism.

“We appreciate that the Government has advised Canadian carriers not to use Iranian airspace,” said Marvin Rotrand, National Director of B’nai Brith Canada’s League for Human Rights. “However, much more needs to be done. Canada should work with international partners to stop servicing and overflying Iran, thus depriving the regime of substantial funding for using the country’s air space.”

Earlier this year, B’nai Brith wrote to Transport Minister Omar Alghabra to take action to hinder Iranian aviation’s capacity to function until such time that an independent inquiry is held and reparations are paid.

“Iran’s denial that the destruction of PS-752 was deliberate and its refusal to pay reparations to the victim’s families is consistent with its lack of respect for international law,” said Michael Mostyn, B’nai Brith Canada’s Chief Executive Officer. “Without international action to deprive it revenue and ground its aviation, Iran will never pay reparations to the families of the victims of Flight PS-752.”

B’nai Brith supports a ban on international flights to Iran and ending Iranian airlines overflight rights in other countries. Iran remains serviced by international carriers.

Of the 176 people killed, 65 were Canadian citizens and 30 were permanent residents, while some others were students at Canadian universities.