Iran continues to protect those responsible for PS752 downing – Pompeo / REUTERS

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said Iran continues to protect those responsible for the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 near Tehran on January 8, 2020.

"Iran's own investigation revealed that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) shot down the plane with two surface-to-air missiles. Yet, a year later, members of the IRGC have yet to be held accountable for taking the lives of 176 innocent civilian passengers and crew onboard. Instead, throughout this prolonged investigation, the regime has continued to protect those in the IRGC who were responsible. We look forward to the day the Iranian authorities values the lives of the Iranian people with the same zeal with which they now cover for their officials' misdeeds," he said in a press statement on January 9, 2021.

Pompeo stressed "we extend our wish for peace and strength to the families and loved ones of the victims, as we express our condolences again to those who continue to grieve their loss."

Read alsoPS752 downing anniversary: Ukraine starts examining flight crew tablet retrieved from crash site"The American people honor the memory of the passengers and crew of Ukrainian International Airlines flight PS752, whose lives were abruptly and senselessly taken one year ago by an unjustified Iranian shootdown. The United States joins the Governments of Ukraine, Canada, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Afghanistan in paying tribute to, and calling for justice for, the victims of this atrocious tragedy," he added.

PS752 downing in Iran: Background

  • On January 8, 2020, Kyiv-bound Boeing 737 passenger jet flight PS752, operated by Ukraine International Airlines, crashed in Iran shortly after takeoff from Tehran Airport.
  • All 176 people on board, including 11 Ukrainian nationals – nine crew and two passengers – were killed. Among victims are also citizens of Iran, Canada, Sweden, Afghanistan, Germany, and the UK.
  • Iranian President Hassan Rouhani admitted that the Ukrainian liner had been shot down as a result of an unintentional "human error," and promised to bring those responsible to justice.
  • On June 9, media reports said Iran had accused six persons in the PS752 downing case.
  • On July 20, the flight recorders were delivered to Paris and decrypted on July 21.
  • On July 24, it was reported that data from the black boxes had confirmed external interference with the aircraft's operation.
  • On October 23, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Yevhen Yenin said Iran would pay compensation to the relatives of victims of the UIA flight PS752 crash, but the process might last up to two years.
  • On December 9, however, Yenin said that Iran had withdrawn the offer to handle the payments to the families of those killed in the UIA plane crash.
  • In the middle of December, Canada expressed its position on the Iranian investigation into the downing of the Ukrainian plane, saying it is not credible.
  • On December 22, the Iranian news agency Tasnim reported that Iranian investigators, during a video conference, had provided representatives of other countries whose citizens were victims of the crash with a technical report on the UIA downing.
  • On December 23, Yenin said that Ukraine had not received the report.
  • On December 24, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba expressed concern that Iran was delaying the negotiation process on the case of the downed Ukraine International Airlines plane. He noted that Ukraine had not received a technical report from Iran on the plane downed almost a year ago.
  • On December 30, Iranian cabinet members reportedly agreed at a session to allocate US$150,000 or its equivalent in euros to each family of the victims of the Ukrainian plane crash in January 2020.