20:28 GMT25 January 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif told his Ukrainian counterpart Vadym Prystaiko in phone talks on 16 January that Tehran was ready to hand over the bodies of Ukrainians who died in the Ukrainian Boeing passenger plane to Kiev, the Iranian Foreign Ministry reported.

    "During this telephone conversation, Zarif informed about Iran’s readiness to hand over the bodies of Ukrainian citizens and allow the specialists of that country to participate in the decryption of the black box", the ministry said in a statement posted on its Telegram-channel.

    Earlier in the day, the foreign ministers of Canada, Ukraine, Sweden, Afghanistan and the UK – whose nationals were among plane crash victims – gathered in London and agreed on a five-point framework on cooperation with Iran with regard to the tragedy.

    The first three demands include full consular access; dignified and transparent identification process and repatriation; and a "thorough, independent and transparent international investigation open to grieving nations".

    In addition, the five countries insist that "Iran assumes full responsibility for the downing of flight PS752 and recognises its duties towards the families of the victims and other parties – including compensation".

    Finally, the ministers called for "accountability for those responsible through an independent criminal investigation followed by transparent and impartial judicial proceedings which conform to international standards of due process and human rights".

    The Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 crashed on 8 January near Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport, killing all 176 people on board. According to official data, 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans and three UK nationals were among the victims.

    The Iranian military subsequently admitted to unintentionally shooting down the jetliner, having confused it with a hostile cruise missile in anticipation of US retaliation to Iran's massive attack against Iraqi bases housing US military personnel. The Iranian leadership expressed deep regret, describing the tragedy as an "unforgivable mistake".

    Tags:
    bodies, talks, Plane Crash, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Ukraine, Iran
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