Rescue workers search the scene where a Ukrainian plane crashed in Shahedshahr, southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, on January 8, 2020. The head of Iran’s civil aviation organization says his government will launch compensation talks in October with Canada and other countries that lost citizens when the Iranian military shot down a civilian jetliner earlier this year. Touraj Dehqani Zangeneh made the comments to Iran’s official news agency over the weekend amid new Iranian claims about what happened on Jan. 8, when Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 was downed shortly after takeoff from Tehran. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Ebrahim Noroozi

Rescue workers search the scene where a Ukrainian plane crashed in Shahedshahr, southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, on January 8, 2020. The head of Iran’s civil aviation organization says his government will launch compensation talks in October with Canada and other countries that lost citizens when the Iranian military shot down a civilian jetliner earlier this year. Touraj Dehqani Zangeneh made the comments to Iran’s official news agency over the weekend amid new Iranian claims about what happened on Jan. 8, when Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 was downed shortly after takeoff from Tehran. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Ebrahim Noroozi

Compensation talks for victims of downed jetliner to start in October: Iran

Iran initially denied responsibility before admitting that the plane went down after being hit by Iranian missiles

The head of Iran’s civil aviation organization says his government will launch compensation talks in October with Canada and other countries that lost citizens when the Iranian military shot down a civilian jetliner earlier this year.

Touraj Dehqani Zangeneh made the comments to Iran’s official news agency over the weekend amid new Iranian claims about the circumstances surrounding the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 on Jan. 8.

Speaking to the Islamic Republic News Agency, Dehqani Zangeneh said the Iranian government was prepared to fully compensate the families of the 176 people killed in the crash, which included 55 Canadians and 30 permanent residents.

Iran initially denied responsibility before admitting, in the face of mounting evidence and international pressure, that the plane — which was on the first leg of a flight from Iran to Canada via Ukraine — went down after being hit by two Iranian missiles.

“What is evident is that Iran has accepted the responsibility for its mistake and therefore the country is ready for negotiations on paying full compensation for what (it has) done,” Dehqani Zangeneh was quoted as saying to IRNA.

Canada, along with the other countries that lost citizens on Flight PS752 — Britain, Sweden, Afghanistan and Ukraine — signed an agreement July 2 promising to work together to force Iran to pay compensation to the victims’ families.

News of the planned compensation talks came as the Civil Aviation Organization of Iran published a report on Sunday about the data downloaded from the Boeing 737’s flight and voice recorders.

The so-called black boxes have emerged as a focal point in efforts to fully understand the circumstances surrounding the downing of Flight PS752, with Iran dragging its feet for months before finally transferring them to France for downloading last month.

The recorders had only 19 seconds of conversation after the first explosion, according to the report, even though Dehqani Zangeneh said the second missile hit the plane 25 seconds later.

“Right after the detonation sound, the three flight crew members inside the cockpit noticed the unusual situation and immediately began taking actions required to control the aircraft accordingly,” according to the civil aviation organization report.

“The post-detonation sounds show that all the three crew members inside the cockpit had been controlling the situation without any indication of injury/damage to their health. … As yet, there exists no voice or sign revealing the passenger cabin’s conditions in the recorded data and audios.”

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada confirmed Sunday that it had received the report, which chair Kathy Fox described as “consistent with information that TSB investigators received while attending the download of the recorders in France.”

“The investigation is far from over,” she added, “as there are still many key questions that need to be answered.”

The TSB said it will continue to push for a “thorough, transparent and credible safety investigation” to determine the sequence of events leading up to the downing of Flight PS752 and why Iran didn’t close its airspace to civilian planes on the night of Jan. 8.

The plane was shot down shortly after taking off from Tehran’s main airport on the same night Iran launched a ballistic missile attack targeting U.S. soldiers in Iraq — a response to the American drone strike that killed a prominent Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani, in Baghdad on Jan. 3.

READ MORE: Iran retrieves data, cockpit talk from downed Ukrainian plane

Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne told The Canadian Press in an interview Sunday that he was still being briefed on the findings.

An association representing the families of those killed on board Flight PS752 dismissed Dehqani Zangeneh’s statement, saying it raised more questions than answers, including why the Iranian anti-aircraft unit fired a second missile at the airliner.

“Our important questions regarding the reason for the delayed takeoff and the pilot’s communications within that hour, which should have been included in the report of the black boxes, have also been left conspicuously unanswered,” the Association of Families of Flight PS752 Victims said in a statement.

Many victims’ families have dismissed from the start the Iranian government’s claims about the circumstances surrounding the jetliner’s downing, and called instead for an independent investigation to ensure those responsible are held to account.

They have also said that any talk about compensation must be preceded by uncovering the truth of what happened.

An Iranian report last month blamed a number of errors for what it suggested was an avoidable tragedy, starting with the surface-to-air missile battery that targeted the Boeing 737-800 having been relocated and not properly reoriented.

Those manning the missile battery also could not communicate with their command centre, the report said. They also misidentified the civilian flight as a threat and opened fire twice without getting approval from ranking officials.

The report did not say why the Iranian military moved the air-defence system, but noted the Ukrainian flight had done nothing out of the ordinary up until the missile launch, with its transponder and other data being broadcast.

—with files from The Associated Press

Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press

Flight 752 crash in Iran

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cherry Hill Elementary. Kevin Mills photo.
Cherry Hill Elementary parents heartbroken, angry over mid-year principal swap

PAC president says she doesn’t understand why it’s happening in the middle of a pandemic

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
Abbotsford mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby comes home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

This is the fifth school exposure in the district, and the third school. There were three exposures in a row at Hatzic Middle School, followed by this week’s cases. Kevin Mills Photo.
Two more COVID-19 exposures at Mission schools

There have been 5 exposures in 3 schools since Oct. 5

Architectural drawings of the building by JY Architecture. Screenshot from District of Mission council meeting on Nov. 16.
Six-storey, 86-unit development on 2nd Avenue approved by Mission councillors

Project one of the oldest on District of Mission’s books, staff report

Google Maps screenshot taken at 6:07 a.m.
TRAFFIC: Westbound dump-truck crash on Highway 1

Crash occurred around 6:45 a.m., west of 232nd Street in Langley

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

A new ‘soft reporting’ room is opening inside the Ann Davis Transition Society offices on Dec. 1, 2020 which is thought to be the first of its kind in B.C. (Ann Davis Transitional Society/ Facebook)
New ‘trauma-informed’ reporting room opening next week in Chilliwack

It’s a space for reporting domestic violence, sexual assault, or gender-based violence to police

The corporate headquarters of Pfizer Canada are seen in Montreal, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. The chief medical adviser at Health Canada says Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could be approved in Canada next month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Health Canada expects first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved next month

Canada has a purchase deal to buy at least 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine,

The online poster for Joel Goddard, who left his Willoughby home Nov. 10, 2020, has been updated by his family and friends who received word that he’s been found.
Langley man missing since Nov. 10 found alive and safe in Abbotsford

Family of the Willoughby area man had been searching for days. Police find him at Abbotsford Airport

A UBC study recommends an multi-government investment of $381 million to protect 102 species at risk in the Fraser River estuary. (Photo supplied by Yuri Choufour)
102 Fraser River estuary species at risk of extinction, researchers warn

UBC team develops $381-million strategy to combat crisis, boost economy

FILE – A paramedic holds a test tube containing a blood sample during an antibody testing program at the Hollymore Ambulance Hub, in Birmingham, England, on Friday, June 5, 2020. (Simon Dawson/Pool via AP)
Want to know if you’ve had COVID-19? LifeLabs is offering an antibody test

Test costs $75 and is available in B.C. and Ontario

Most Read