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Congress: Tehran Stonewalled Ukrainian Plane Crash Investigation

Congress: Tehran Stonewalled Ukrainian Plane Crash Investigation

Sunday, 9 January, 2022 - 06:45
Rescue teams work amidst debris after a Ukrainian plane crashed near Imam Khomeini airport in Tehran. (AFP)

US Congresswoman Claudia Tenney confirmed that Iran has stonewalled the investigation in the 2020 Ukrainian plane crash.

“Iran stonewalled the investigation and has not taken any real steps to deliver justice to the families impacted. Join me in urging US Envoy to Iran to put this issue on his agenda,” she said in a tweet.

Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 was shot down shortly after take-off from Tehran's Imam Khomeini airport on January 8, 2020, killing all 176 people on aboard. Most were Iranians, British, and Canadians.

After days of ambiguity and stalling, Iran admitted that a group from the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has mistaken the plane for a missile.

Tehran says Revolutionary Guards accidentally shot down the Boeing 737 jet, blaming the jet crash on a misaligned radar and an error by the air defense operator.

In a final report in March, the Iranian Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) pointed to the missile strikes and the "alertness" of its troops on the ground amid heightened tensions between Iran and the United States at the time.

Iran's judiciary said a trial had opened in Tehran for 10 minor military members in connection with the jet's downing.

Meanwhile, families of the victims gathered Saturday at Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport, from where the Ukrainian airliner crashed shortly after takeoff, to demand justice.

They chanted slogans against officials in Tehran and described them as corrupt.

“Compensation Can Never Replace Justice,” the families said, insisting that perpetrators be bought to an impartial court.

They held up pictures of their loved ones, laid flowers and lit candles in their memory, while calling for "Justice! Truth!", videos shared on social media showed.

State television separately published an interview with the mother of Zahra Hassani Saadi, who died in the crash, in which she questioned the authorities' handling of the case.

"We have several questions, who will answer us? Why wasn't the flight cancelled? Why was the cruise missile fired? We don't know and no one explained it to us," she asked.

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