Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he did not receive any prior warning from US officials about the drone attack that killed a high-ranking Iranian general and days later led Iran to shoot down a Ukrainian passenger plane carrying dozens of Canadians
Trudeau said that “obviously” he would have preferred to receive a warning about the Trump administration’s plan to assassinate Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. Canada has several hundred soldiers stationed in Iraq, including at an American air base that Iran attacked in retaliation for the murder of General Soleimani.
“The United States takes its determinations,” Trudeau told Global News on Monday. “We try to work as an international community in big problems. But sometimes countries take action without informing their allies. “
He blamed the growing tensions between the United States and Iran for the January 8 missile attack that shot down Ukraine International Airlines flight 752, killing 176 on board, including 57 Canadians.
“I think if there were no tensions, if there was not a recent escalation in the region, those Canadians would now be home with their families,” he said. “This is something that happens when you have conflict and war. The innocent are the most affected.
Opinion: investigation of flight 752 accident will only find answers if Iran allows
There is a growing political battle south of the border for the justification of the drone attack on January 3 that killed the Iranian military leader.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo doubled on Monday with the claim that General Soleimani planned to attack US targets. “There were, in fact, a set of impending attacks that Qassem Soleimani was plotting,” he told former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during an event at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, Monday morning. “It was unmistakable.” . “
He said unspecified US intelligence gathered during the previous 12 months persuaded Trump administration officials to recommend the murder. “Was [the] see [of U.S. intelligence agencies] that the risks were real and growing and that the actions we took that day reduced the risk, “he said.
Pompeo is at the center of a debate about the administration’s changing explanations about the death of General Soleimani and his response to the crash of flight 752.
Congressional Democrats on Monday confirmed that Pompeo had refused to testify before a House foreign affairs committee that hears this week about Trump’s policies toward Iran.
“With the tremendously confusing explanations from the administration, the secretary should welcome the opportunity to present the case and answer questions before the American people,” said committee chairman Eliot Engel in a statement Monday.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly said that the Iranian general planned to attack up to four US embassies. But over the weekend, Defense Secretary Mark Esper told CBS that he had not seen evidence detailing any specific objective, saying only that he believed Iran would probably have focused on US embassies.
On Monday, Trump defended the White House against accusations that he had offered conflicting messages about the attack.
“This is what has been consistent: we kill Soleimani, the number one terrorist in the world for all aspects,” he told reporters in the White House garden. “And when the Democrats try to defend it, it is a disgrace to our country.”
Instead of testifying before Congress, Pompeo headed to California for a three-day visit that included a dinner with a handful of technology leaders and a private meeting with Rice, who as a national security adviser to the Bush administration supported the invasion of Iraq in 2003 during claims that the regime was an imminent threat and that it had weapons of mass destruction stored.
While pointing out the existence of US intelligence. In the US, Pompeo added that killing General Soleimani was part of a broader US deterrence campaign. UU. After violent protests by Iran-backed militias broke out at the US embassy. UU. In Baghdad in December. “We just want Iran to behave like a normal nation,” he said. “Just be like Norway.”
Pompeo avoided mentioning the Ukrainian plane crash, and noted that no one was killed in an Iranian missile attack that same day at an Iraqi base that housed US troops. He warned that if Iran continues to increase tensions with the United States, “we will end it on our terms.”
With reports by Adrian Morrow