President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky demanded on Saturday, January 11, that Iran punish those responsible for the downing of a Ukrainian airliner and pay compensation.
“We expect Iran… to bring the guilty to the courts,” the Ukrainian leader wrote on Facebook, calling also for the “payment of compensation” and the return of remains.
Tehran admitted on Saturday that it accidentally downed the Ukraine International Airlines plane, killing all 176 people on board on Wednesday shortly after launching missiles at bases hosting US forces in Iraq.
“We hope the inquiry will be pursued without deliberate delay and without obstruction,” Zelensky added
He urged “total access” to the full inquiry for 45 Ukrainian experts, and in a tweet also sought an “official apology”.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said earlier on Saturday that Tehran “deeply regrets this disastrous mistake”.
Ukraine said on Friday that its experts dispatched to Iran had been granted access to the flight’s black boxes, debris from the plane, the crash site and to recordings of conversations between the pilot and the airport control tower.
Iran’s official IRNA news agency published a statement from the military saying the Boeing 737 was mistaken for a “hostile plane” at a time when enemy threats were at the highest level.
Tehran has invited the United States, Ukraine, Canada and others to join the crash investigation.
The majority of passengers on UIA Flight PS752 were Iranian-Canadian dual nationals but also included Ukrainians, Afghans, Britons and Swedes.