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Iran Press TV

Canadian court has no jurisdiction to rule on 2020 Ukrainian plane crash: Iran

Iran Press TV

Friday, 21 May 2021 1:52 PM

Iran has rejected as baseless a recent ruling by a Canadian court on the January 2020 accidental downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane near Tehran, saying the court has no jurisdiction to rule on the case.

"Everyone knows that the Canadian court basically has no jurisdiction over this air crash or any possible failure in an incident that has occurred outside Canada's territory," Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters on Friday.

The Superior Court of Justice of the Canadian province of Ontario ruled on Thursday that Iran was liable under a 2012 Canadian law to pay damages to the families of victims of the Ukrainian commercial flight. Canada had on board dozens of citizens and permanent residents.

On January 8, 2020, the Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752, en route to Kiev and carrying mostly Iranians, crashed minutes after takeoff near the Iranian capital, killing all the 176 on board.

The plane was shot down by Iran's air defenses, which mistook the aircraft for a military target amid tensions between Tehran and Washington following the US assassination of top anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq days earlier.

Khatibzadeh dismissed claims by the provincial Canadian court, saying, "The mentioned verdict has no basis and does not have any objective documents and reasons."

Given the verdict's publication on the internet, he invited all those interested in such issues to examine it and become aware of the issue.

Pointing to Canada's conduct and behavior over the issue so far, Khatibzadeh said, "It is predictable that Canada will not observe the basic and fundamental legal principles."

"Even the domestic law cited by the court is also against the legal principles and is, in fact, a violation of Canada's international commitments," the Iranian spokesperson emphasized.

He described Canada's moves on the case, including the recent court ruling, as "completely politically motivated" and said the Canadian judge's behavior in following political orders and cliches was a disgrace to a country claiming the rule of law.

Khatibzadeh emphasized that "unacceptable" measures by the Canadian government and its politicized actions would only disrupt the international aviation law which would be detrimental to all countries, including Canada.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman once again offered his condolences to and expressed his sympathy with the families of the victims and said, "The Canadian government's political gestures have no interpretation other than trading with the grief of the bereaved families and survivors of the incident and playing with their feelings for the short-term political purposes."

"Instead of pretending to be active in this unfortunate incident, we call on the Canadian government to show the behavior of a mature government and act on the basis of recognized international regulations and respect principles," Khatibzadeh noted.

Hours before the tragedy happened, Iran had launched a retaliatory missile strike against a US-run base in western Iraq and then put the country's air defenses on high alert due to increased American aerial activity in the aftermath of the strike.

Iran acknowledged days later that the mismanagement of an air defense unit's radar system by its operator was the key human error that led to the accident.

Tehran has promised that all those culpable in the incident will face trial and said it has allocated 200 million Euros to compensate the survivors.

Khatibzadeh in April dismissed a claim by Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine's national security and defense council, that the downing of the Ukrainian plane was "intentional."

He said "despite all the explanations as well as technical and expert reports [on the incident], Ukrainian officials continue making vague, political remarks," expressing regret that "they present their imaginary and commissioned theories through media."

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