The Iranian government has been given a tight deadline to engage in discussions on reparations for the families of those killed in the downing of Flight 752 – or potentially face legal action.
The four countries making up the International Coordination and Response Group, Canada, Sweden, the UK and Ukraine, issued a joint statement on Thursday, December 16 asking Tehran to confirm its willingness to engage by January 5, 2022.
Issued in the aftermath of a meeting between the member states on the regime’s refusal to address the group in a “constructive and timely manner”, part of the statement read: “It has been nearly two years since the downing of Flight PS752, and yet the Islamic Republic of Iran has shown no interest in adhering to its international legal obligations. The Coordination Group’s patience is wearing thin.”
If no reply is received by January 5, the group said, it would “assume that further attempts to negotiate reparations with Iran are futile” and have to “seriously consider other actions within the framework of international law”.
As per the Chicago Convention, if civil aviation-related disputes are not resolved between the parties, states can take a claim to the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). ICAO decisions can in turn be appealed at the International Court of Justice.
Some of the victims’ families have already brought their case against Tehran before a judge. In May this year, the Superior Court of Justice in Ontario ruled that the downing of Flight 752 by the Revolutionary Guards on January 8, 2020 had been a deliberate act of terror and awarded full indemnity costs.
The statement from the group on Thursday concluded: “The Group stands in solidarity with the victims’ loved ones and remains united in its objective to hold the Islamic Republic of Iran accountable for the acts and omissions by civilian and military officials that led to the deaths of 176 innocent people.”