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Rouhani: All those culpable in Ukraine flight downing should face trial

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani (Photo by IRNA)

President Hassan Rouhani asserts that all those culpable of dereliction of duty in last year’s mistaken downing of a Ukrainian airliner have to face trial.

“We said [this] from day one that all those responsible for the incident should be tried justly at a court,” Rouhani said, addressing a government meeting in Tehran on Wednesday.

“Today too, we [still] lay emphasis [on the same imperative] and the Judiciary will surely make this happen,” he added.

Iran attaches importance to this trial process, the president said, adding that all the unclear aspects of the incident have to come to light and be communicated to the public.

An Iranian air defense unit mistakenly shot down Flight 752 of the Ukrainian International Airlines last January shortly after the aircraft’s takeoff from Tehran en route to Kiev.

The operator had mistaken the Boeing 737-800 with a cruise missile at a time when the Islamic Republic’s air defense systems were at the highest possible level of alert following the United States’ earlier assassination of prominent Iranian commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in neighboring Iraq.

Rouhani called the unintentional shooting down of the plane “a very painful” tragedy.

“The government has done its utmost over the past year” towards shedding light on all the obscure aspects of the disaster, the chief executive stated.

During its previous gathering, the government allocated as much as $30 million for compensation of the survivors, despite the circumstances governing the country, he added. The president was apparently referring to the economic shortages facing the Islamic Republic amid the United States’ sanctions and the coronarvirus pandemic.

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