Justice Demanded: Canada, Sweden, UK, and Ukraine File UN Complaint Against Iran for Fatal Plane Downing

TEHRAN, Iran – Canada, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Ukraine have jointly submitted a complaint to the United Nations civil aviation agency, holding Iran responsible for shooting down a passenger plane in January 2020. The incident, which resulted in the deaths of 176 people, prompted the four countries to accuse Iran of violating international legal obligations by using weapons against a civilian aircraft.

The Ukraine International Airlines flight, a Boeing 737-800, was tragically shot down shortly after takeoff from Tehran on January 8, 2020. This happened in the midst of escalating tensions following the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani by the United States.

Initially, Iran denied any involvement, but three days later, they admitted that their Revolutionary Guard had mistakenly fired two missiles at the plane. The aircraft was en route to Kyiv, carrying passengers from several countries, including citizens from the four nations now seeking justice.

Seeking to secure justice for the victims and their families, Canada, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Ukraine have commenced dispute settlement proceedings with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal. The move has been described as a significant step toward achieving justice for the affected families.

In addition to filing a complaint with the ICAO, the four countries have already filed a case with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. They seek reparations from Iran for the families of the victims, alleging that Iran failed to conduct a fair and transparent investigation into the incident, as required by international law.

In April of last year, an Iranian court issued initial sentences for 10 individuals accused of involvement in the tragedy, including the operator of an air defense system. However, the four countries argue that Iran’s efforts have been inadequate and that they are politicizing the issue.

In response, Iran has offered compensation of $150,000 to each of the families of the victims and claims to have begun making the payments. They reject allegations of non-cooperation and lack of transparency, and they have gone as far as filing their own case with the ICJ against Canada, accusing them of violating their international obligations.

The joint complaint to the UN civil aviation agency marks another step in the quest for justice for the victims of this unfortunate incident. The four countries aim to hold Iran accountable for its actions, ensuring that the families impacted by the tragedy receive the justice they deserve.