Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says questions remain about Iran’s downing of a Ukrainian plane that killed all 176 aboard, including 57 Canadians, and that he expects full co-operation in the investigation.
Iran said earlier on Saturday it shot down the plane in error.
“Canada and the world still have many questions, questions that must be answered,” Trudeau said in a news conference on Saturday.
“It is absolutely necessary that Canada participate in this investigation. We expect the full co-operation of Iranian authorities,” he said.
Though Canada has not had diplomatic relations with Iran since 2012, Trudeau spoke to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani earlier in the day after Rouhani said the military’s shooting down of the plane was a “disastrous mistake”.
Rouhani committed to collaborating with Canadian investigators, working to de-escalate tensions in the region, and continuing a dialogue, Trudeau said.
Trudeau said a “full and complete” investigation is crucial in determining whether the downing of the airliner had indeed been a mistake, and he said compensation by Iran to the families should be “part of the mix”.
Trudeau said he told Rouhani that Iran’s admission it unintentionally shot down the passenger jet was “an important step”, but he added that more steps must be taken to have “full clarity on how such a horrific tragedy could have occurred”.
Trudeau said he was furious and outraged.
“Canada will not rest until we get the accountability, justice, and closure that the families deserve,” he said.
Ukraine is offering over $8,000 in financial compensation to the families of its 11 citizens who died in the jetliner crash.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a video address Saturday that his government will also push Iran to provide separate compensation to the victims’ families.
He had just spoken by phone to Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, and said Iran promised to prosecute those responsible for the shootdown.
He says Iran has also promised to prosecute any Iranian officials responsible for shooting down the Ukrainian aircraft and quickly identify and return victims’ remains.
The Ukrainian Cabinet says each family will receive the equivalent of $8,300 from the state.
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