ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday blamed tensions between the United States and Iran for the deaths of dozens of Canadians aboard a Ukrainian airliner that crashed in Tehran last week.
Although the Canadian leader did not explicitly blame US President Donald Trump for his decision to order the killing of Iran’s top general Qasim Soleimani in Baghdad, he did note that the Canadians would still be alive had tensions not escalated.
“If there was no escalation recently in the region, those Canadians would be home right now with their families,” Trudeau told Global News in an interview. “This is something that happens when you have conflict and the war. Innocents bear the brunt of it.”
Iran has issued at least 10 visas for an investigation team from Canada to conduct a probe into the downed Ukrainian airliner.
Three members of the Canadian Standing Rapid Deployment Team (SRDT) arrived in the Iranian capital of Tehran on Sunday.
Trudeau told Global News that Canadians need “clear answers” on how the tragic incident happened and vowed that his government would “make sure it never happens again.”
The Iranian military admitted it had accidentally shot down the Ukrainian airliner that crashed shortly after taking off from an airport in Tehran, killing all 176 passengers, including the 57 Canadians.
The incident occurred hours after Iran fired ballistic missiles on Iraqi bases that house American troops, in an operation widely publicized by Iranian media as Tehran’s “severe revenge” for the killing of Soleimani, a general of the Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force.
“There is a demand for justice,” the Trudeau said. “And that is entirely, entirely to be expected and should be headed very carefully by the Iranian government.”
Canada has no diplomatic relations with Iran. Ottawa severed its ties with Tehran in September 2012, recalling its diplomats and closing its embassy.