Ukraine, Canada demand accountability after Iran plane admission

KIEV, Ukraine (3rd UPDATE) – Ukraine and Canada on Saturday, January 11, demanded accountability after Iran admitted that it had unintentionally shot down a Ukrainian plane, killing 176 people

President Volodymyr Zelensky demanded 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" after Tehran admitted accidentally downing the plane and killing all 176 people on board.

"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."

Ukraine said Friday 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.

Meanwhile, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Saturday, January 11, closure and accountability were needed following the latest development.

He also demanded "transparency, and justice for the families and loved ones of the victims," of whom many were Canadian dual nationals.

"This is a national tragedy, and all Canadians are mourning together," Trudeau's office said in a statement.

On January 11, the chairman of the Russian parliament's foreign affairs committee also said Iran must "learn lessons" from the disaster.

"If decryption of the black boxes and the work of the investigation do not prove that the Iranian army did this intentionally, and there are no logical reasons for this, the incident must be closed.

"Hoping that lessons will be learned and action taken by all parties," said Konstantin Kosachev, quoted by the Interfax news agency.

Tehran has invited the United States, Ukraine, Canada, and others to join the crash investigation.

The vast majority of the passengers on the Ukraine International Airlines flight were non-Ukrainians, including 82 Iranians and 63 Canadians, officials said, but also included Ukrainians, Afghans, Britons, and Swedes. – Rappler.com