Canadian report blames Iran for downing of Ukrainian flight

Iran's 'recklessness, incompetence' caused Ukrainian flight disaster: Canadian report
2 min read
25 June, 2021
A new report by the Canadian government has held Iran fully responsible for the downing of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752, which killed 176 people.
Iranian authorities mistook the passenger plane for a US missile [Getty]

Iran is "fully responsible" for the downing of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 in January 2020, which killed all 176 people on board, according to a new report by the Canadian government. 

The report stated that while the downing was not "premeditated", Iran's "civilian and military authorities" were to blame, and that tragedy could have been averted if not for the "incompetence, recklessness, and wanton disregard for human life".

The passenger plan was hit by two Iranian missiles over Tehran, after authorities mistook the aircraft for a US missile. 

Iran has been repeatedly accused of hindering inquires into the incident.  

Following the crash, authorities in Iran looted the site, bulldozed the evidence, and denied investigators access to the area.

Iranian air defences had been on high alert at the time, following the launching of Iranian missiles at two military bases in Iraq, which were hosting US troops. The missile attacks were in response to an earlier US drone strike that killed Iranian commander Qassem Solemani. 

An earlier investigation by the Civil Aviation Organisation of Iran determined that the plane had been "misidentified", and that missiles had been fired with authorisation from a commander. 

Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau said that the Iranian authorities had been slow to address failings and to take the necessary steps to avoid future tragedy. 

"Iran does not get off the hook in any way whatsoever… It is totally responsible for what happened," said Garneau. 

Perspectives

"Iran's official account of events is disingenuous, misleading and superficial, and intentionally ignores key factors," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement. 

"Senior regime officials made the decisions that led to this tragedy, and the world must not allow them to hide with impunity behind a handful of low-ranking scapegoats," he added.

Of the 176 people on board, 138 had ties to Canada.

The Canadian government is seeking compensation for the families from Iran, and has also hinted at the possibility of imposing sanctions, or sending the cases to the International Criminal Court.