Exclusive: Canada Says Iran Responsible To Explain Downing Of Plane
Canada’s department of Global Affairs has said that the country continues to be “deeply concerned” about Iran not sharing “convincing information and evidence” in the downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane in January 2020.
In response to a question by Iran International TV correspondent in Canada about Ukrainian statements that Iran shot down the plane “deliberately”, Global Affairs repeated Canada’s position of demanding transparency from Iran, which “has full access to the evidence, the crash site, witnesses, and those ultimately responsible.” In its written response, the department avoided addressing the question of whether Iran shot down the plane deliberately.
Ukraine and Canada suffered most when Iranian air defense batteries fired two missiles at the Ukrainian Airlines flight PS-752 taking off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport on January 8, 2020, hours after Iran had fired missiles at US bases in Iraq, killing all 176 people on board.
Canada had dozens of citizens and permanent residents on board and their families have organized advocacy groups to demand justice and some have sued the Iranian government and officials in Canadian courts over the incident.
Iran, which has said it has indicted ten people recently, for months refused to share the flight data recorders with the affected nations and has not shared much information about its investigation except saying that the missile operator committed a “human error”.
But the issue is not only about who allowed or ordered the missile battery crew to fire two missiles at a target that should have been visible on radar as a large passenger plane and not a cruise missile, as some Iranian officials have suggested.
There is also the question of why Iran did not close its civilian airspace after its missile attack on US bases, if the military situation was tense and it expected some sort of retaliation by the United States.
Some have said that Ukraine has been more vocal than Canada in demanding answers from Iran and even suggesting that Tehran or some faction in the country was responsible for deliberately firing at the airliner.
Global Affairs told Iran International that Canada “will soon release a report from our Forensic Examination and Assessment Team.” But the department says that Iran is the only one which has all the information and it refuses to share.
“Canada remains committed to seeking answers and justice by holding Iran accountable by ensuring it takes full responsibility and makes full reparations for the harm caused to the families and loved ones of the victims of Flight PS752,” the Global Affairs statement says.