Canada receives remains of first victim on downed Ukrainian airliner
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Canada has brought home the remains of one of the victims who died on a Ukrainian airliner that was downed by Iran earlier this month.
The remains arrived in Canada on Tuesday.
The family of the victim requested that the identity not be revealed.
“There has been one repatriation of remains which took place, and we respected the wish of the family to respect their privacy,” Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said on Tuesday.
Although it first denied any responsibility, Iran’s 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.
At least 57 Canadians were killed, 29 of them permanent residents.
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 Qasim Soleimani, a general of the Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force.
The repatriation of the remains of the Canadian citizens on board the airliner has hit a roadblock as Iran says it does not recognize dual citizenship.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged the issue but insisted the remains of victims be brought home at the request of family members.
“Respecting the wishes of the families lines up not with a question of citizenship, but it lines up also with international laws and practice,” Trudeau said on Tuesday.
Canada has no diplomatic relations with Iran. Ottawa severed its ties with Tehran in September 2012, recalling its diplomats and closing its embassy.