TEHRAN, Iran — Iran said on Saturday that it would enter into talks with Ukraine next week over compensation for the accidental shoot-down of a passenger plane in January, resulting in 176 deaths.
Talks are to begin on Monday, when experts will first investigate the technical and legal details of the incident, Deputy Foreign Minister Mohsen Baharwand told the ISNA news agency.
The Ukrainian International Airlines (UIA) Boeing 737 was shot down by Iranian air forces shortly after take-off on January 8, killing all 176 people on board.
Passengers were from Ukraine, Iran, Canada, Afghanistan, Britain and Sweden.
Iran had initially blamed the crash on a technical problem, but then admitted to unintentionally shooting down the airliner amid heightened tensions with U.S. forces in neighboring Iraq.
In its final report on the crash from mid-July, the Iranian aviation agency spoke of “human error,” saying a malfunctioning radar system caused communication problems with the responsible military unit.
Last month, Iran said it would negotiate the payment of damages to relatives of the victims.
In August, the Iranian Central Insurance Organization had still declined compensation for victims’ relatives, saying the plane was insured by Ukrainian and European companies, which should therefore pay the damages.
However, the Iranian Foreign Ministry then declared it was willing “in principle” to pay damages as soon as technical and legal aspects were clarified.