Five days after a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad, Iraq killed Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps shot down a passenger flight that had left Tehran and was on its way to Kiev, Ukraine — an incident that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has described as a “human error.” Many of the 176 people killed on Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 were from Canada, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is asserting that the flight would not have been shot down were it not for increased tensions between the U.S. and Iran.
Trudeau told Global Television, “I think if there were no tensions, if there was no escalation recently in the region, those Canadians would be right now home with their families.”
According to the Canadian government, 57 of the 176 people killed on Flight 752 on January 8 were from Canada. And Trudeau said the he “obviously” would have appreciated it if the U.S. government had given him some warning about the January 3 drone strike it was planning.
At a press conference on January 11, Trudeau told reporters that Rouhani’s admission that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had made a mistake was an “important step.” But he stressed that “many more steps must be taken.”
“A full and complete investigation must be conducted,” Trudeau told reporters. “We need full clarity on how such a horrific tragedy could have occurred. Iran must take full responsibility.”
Canada, Trudeau noted, has a large Iranian community. The prime minister told reporters, “I am, of course, outraged and furious that families across this country are grieving the loss of their loved ones, that the Iranian-Canadian community is suffering so greatly, that all Canadians are shocked and appalled at the senseless loss of life. It’s a huge tragedy for the entire country and not just for the Iranian community.”
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