World demands full account after Iran admits downing Ukraine jet

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky placing flowers at a memorial for the victims of the Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 crash in the Iranian capital Tehran, at the Boryspil airport outside Kiev on January 9, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 11 January 2020

World demands full account after Iran admits downing Ukraine jet

  • Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky demanded that Iran punish those responsible
  • Iran has invited the United States, Ukraine, Canada and others to join the crash investigation

PARIS: Iran said Saturday it had unintentionally shot down the Ukrainian airliner that crashed this week outside Tehran killing 176 people, calling it an “unforgivable mistake.”
The statement sparked some relief that at least the immediate cause of the disaster would not be concealed amid international calls for a full accounting and compensation for the victims.
Iran has invited the United States, Ukraine, Canada and others to join the crash investigation.
Herewith are some of the remarks made by top leaders in response to the Iranian statement on its responsibility for the crash.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky demanded that Iran punish those responsible, pay compensation and apologize.
“We expect Iran... to bring the guilty to the courts,” the Ukrainian leader wrote on Facebook, calling for the “payment of compensation” and the return of remains.
“We hope the inquiry will be pursued without deliberate delay and without obstruction,” Zelensky added
He also urged “total access” to the full inquiry for 45 Ukrainian experts and in a tweet also sought an “official apology.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, with the country mourning the loss of many of its nationals, said closure and accountability were needed after Iran’s announcement.
He demanded “transparency, and justice for the families and loved ones of the victims.
“This is a national tragedy, and all Canadians are mourning together,” Trudeau’s office said in a statement.

Iran must “learn lessons” from the disaster, the chairman of the Russian parliament’s foreign affairs committee said.
“If decryption of the black boxes and the work of the investigation do not prove that the Iranian army did this intentionally, and there are no logical reasons for this, the incident must be closed.
“Hoping that lessons will be learned and action taken by all parties,” Konstantin Kosachev was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

French Defense Minister Florence Parly said it was “important to seize this moment to give space to discussions and negotiations” on the Iran nuclear deal.
“The lessons that we should learn from the dramatic sequence of events that we have experienced... is that we must put an end to this escalation,” Parly told France Inter radio.
She reiterated the French position that everything must be done to salvage the landmark 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, which US President Donald Trump withdrew from in 2018.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said “it was important that Iran brought clarity to this issue.
“Now Tehran needs to draw the right consequences in the continued appraisal of this dreadful catastrophe, and take measures to ensure that something like this cannot happen again,” Mass told Funke media.


China raises flood alert to second highest level

Updated 12 July 2020

China raises flood alert to second highest level

  • Regional flooding in the Poyang county of Jiangxi has made water levels of China’s Lake Poyang surge to above 22.52 meters
BEIJING/SINGAPORE: China on Sunday raised its flood response alert to the second highest grade as downpours continued to batter regions along the Yangtze River, with the eastern provinces of Jiangsu and Jiangxi among the worst hit, state media reported.
Regional flooding in the Poyang county of Jiangxi has made water levels of China’s Lake Poyang, its biggest freshwater lake, surge to above 22.52 meters, a historical high and well above the alert level of 19.50 meters.
By Saturday evening, provincial military authorities had dispatched thousands of soldiers to help bolster nearly 9 km (6 miles) of the lake’s banks to prevent them from bursting, state television said.
China has a four-tier flood control emergency response system, with level one representing the most severe.
Citing data from the Ministry of Water Resources, 212 rivers have since early July exceeded alerting levels including 19 of them rising to historical highs.
China has blamed extreme weather conditions as a result of climate change for the torrential rain that has since June hit large swathes of the country and caused over 60 billion yuan ($8.57 billion) of economic losses.