Sweden: Iran to compensate Ukraine plane crash victims


STOCKHOLM (AP) — Iran has agreed to compensate the families’ of the foreign victims of a Ukrainian passenger plane that was shot down by Iranian forces outside Tehran in January, Sweden’s foreign minister said on Thursday.

“We have signed an agreement of mutual understanding that we will now negotiate together with Iran about amends, compensation to the victims’ next of kin,” Foreign Minister Ann Linde told Swedish news agency TT.

Iran had denied for days its involvement in the plane crash but then announced that its military had mistakenly and unintentionally shot down the Ukrainian jetliner, a Boeing 737 operated by Ukrainian International Airlines. All 176 people on board were killed.

Diplomats from nations that had lost citizens in the downing of the plane have for months been pushing Iran for more cooperation on the investigation and compensation issues.

The Iranian admission followed U.S. and Canadian intelligence reports indicating that Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces had downed the aircraft. Tehran blamed “human error” for the shoot-down. The jetliner went down Jan. 8 on the outskirts of Tehran during takeoff, just hours after Iran launched a barrage of missiles at U.S. forces in Iraq.

The plane was en route to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. The victims included 57 Canadian citizens as well as 11 Ukrainians, 17 people from Sweden, four Afghans and four British citizens. Those from Sweden included both Swedish nationals and people with staying permits in the Scandinavian country.

Asked whether Iran will really pay compensation, Linde replied,“ there is no doubt about that.”

The five countries that are acting together against Iran on this issue are those with victims that were on board of the doomed plane: Sweden, Canada, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and Afghanistan, the TT news agency said.

“We expect that we will be able to have the first concrete negotiation meeting in a very short time,” Linde was quoted as saying.

Her press secretary told The Associated Press that the International Coordination and Response Group “has now achieved its primary objective of agreeing on a memorandum of understanding to enter, jointly as a united group, into negotiations with Iran on full reparations for the victims.”

Days after the shoot-down, the governments of five countries that lost citizens demanded that Tehran accept “full responsibility” and pay compensation to the victims’ families — though they had little to offer besides moral pressure to get Iran to comply — in line with Iran's responsibilities under international agreements governing passenger rights.

After a meeting in London, the foreign ministers from Canada, the U.K., Afghanistan, Sweden and Ukraine urged Iran to allow a “thorough, independent and transparent international investigation,” as well as a criminal probe and “impartial” judicial proceedings against those found responsible for downing the plane.


Olsen reported from Copenhagen, Denmark.

More From

  • NexPoint Residential Trust Inc.: 2Q Earnings Snapshot

    DALLAS (AP) _ NexPoint Residential Trust Inc. (NXRT) on Tuesday reported a key measure of profitability in its second quarter. The Dallas-based real estate investment trust said it had funds from operations of $16.1 million, or 66 cents per share, in the period. Funds from operations is a closely watched measure in the REIT industry.

  • Lebanese try to storm energy ministry amid power cuts

    Dozens of Lebanese protesters tried to storm the Ministry of Energy on Tuesday, angered by prolonged power cuts as the country grapples with a crippling economic crisis. Security forces pushed back against the angry protesters, chasing away some who breached the ministry perimeter. Lebanon's economic and financial crisis poses the most significant threat to the country since a devastating 15-year civil war ended in 1990.

  • The Latest: Leverkusen's Amiri will miss Rangers game

    Bayer Leverkusen says midfielder Nadiem Amiri will miss its Europa League last-16 game against Rangers on Thursday after he had contact with someone believed to have the coronavirus. The club says Amiri reported the ''short-term'' contact in his private life himself and is isolating at home for a week as a precaution. Leverkusen managing director sport Rudi Voller says in a statement that ''Nadiem's behavior is exemplary and important.

  • No masks, no distance: Pandemic wedding horrors for vendors

    Wedding planners, photographers and other bridal vendors who make the magic happen have a heap of new worries in the middle of the pandemic: no-mask weddings, rising guest counts and venues not following the rules. Now that weddings have slowly cranked up under a patchwork of ever-shifting state and local restrictions, horror stories from vendors are rolling in. Many are desperate to work after the coronavirus put an abrupt end to their incomes and feel compelled to put on their masks, grab their cameras and hope for the best.