Stars and Stripes 30 Dec, 2020 19:00 am

Iran allocates payments to families of Ukraine crash victims

Iran allocates payments to families of Ukraine crash victims
Iran's cabinet has created a compensation fund to pay the families of the 176 victims of a Ukrainian passenger plane that was shot down by Iranian forces outside Tehran last January, the president announced Wednesday.

The announcement comes as the families of victims prepare to mark the anniversary of the Jan.For months, the governments of the five affected countries have demanded that Tehran accept "full responsibility" for the crash and pay compensation to the victims' families in line with international agreements." The association representing the families of victims released a statement last week lambasting Iran's compensation offer and demanding an independent and transparent investigation into the crash.But with extensive evidence emerging from Western intelligence reports and international pressure building, Iran admitted that its military had mistakenly fired at the Ukrainian jetliner at a moment of heightened tension between Iran and the United States.

Western intelligence officials and analysts believe Iran shot down the aircraft with a Russian-made Tor system, known to NATO as the SA-15.For days, Iran denied that its military was responsible for the downing of the plane.

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