Canada, others to seek damages from Iran at UN court over downed jet

Canada to take Iran to the International Court of Justice to seek damages for the families of 176 people who were killed in 2020, when Iranian forces downed a Ukraine International Airlines jetliner bound for Canada.

Hundreds attended a t vigil at Mel Lastman Square in Toronto, Canada, as Iranian-Canadians marked 3rd anniversary of the downing of Ukrainian Airlines Flight PS752. (Photo by Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Canada, Britain, Sweden and Ukraine said Thursday they will take Iran to the International Court of Justice "as soon as possible" to seek damages for families of passengers on a jetliner downed by Tehran.

Iranian forces shot down Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 shortly after takeoff from Tehran on January 8, 2020, killing all 176 people on board.

Three days later, Iran admitted that its military had targeted the Kiev-bound Boeing 737-800 plane by mistake.

Canada, Britain, Sweden and Ukraine -- which had a number of citizens on board -- have been seeking reparations on behalf of victims' families.

But, they said in a joint statement on Thursday, the latest attempt to have Iran submit to binding arbitration under a 1971 multilateral treaty on threats to civil aviation has failed.

The four countries said they "intend to pursue our collective effort to ensure Iran is held accountable for the unlawful downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 by referring the dispute to the International Court of Justice as soon as is practicable."

"Time is up," Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said.

"Together, we will seek the transparency, accountability and justice families deserve. Impunity is not an option," she said.

On Wednesday, Iran took Canada to the Hague-based International Court of Justice, the UN's top tribunal, accusing Ottawa of allowing victims of alleged terror attacks to claim damages from Tehran.

Tehran's case claims that Ottawa, which listed the Islamic Republic as a sponsor of terrorism in 2012, had violated Iran's state immunity.

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