Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday demanded punishment for those involved in the crash of a Ukrainian aircraft, for which Iran claimed responsibility earlier in the day. Iran attributed the crash to “human error” during an apparent retaliation to the assassination of a top military general by the United States.
The plane crash on Wednesday killed all 176 persons on board, including 82 Iranians, 57 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians. The Ukrainian International Airlines aircraft crashed on the outskirts of Tehran soon after Iran had bombed two airbases in Iraq used by United States military forces.
Zelensky said that though Iran had pleaded guilty, “we insist on a full admission of guilt”, Reuters reported. He said: “We expect from Iran assurances of their readiness for a full and open investigation, bringing those responsible to justice, the return of the bodies of the dead, the payment of compensation, official apologies through diplomatic channels.”
The president said he expects Iran to bring the guilty to the courts.
Yevhenii Dykhne, the head of Ukraine International Airlines, said, “We didn’t doubt for a second that our crew and our plane couldn’t be the cause for this horrible crash...These were our best guys and girls. The best.”
Nine of those on board the aircraft were crew members.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that closure and accountability were needed after Iran’s admission. He demanded “transparency and justice for the families and loved ones of the victims”, AFP reported.