Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the 176 people, including 57 Canadians, aboard the Ukrainian plane shot down by a missile shortly after it took off from Tehran last week would still be alive if tensions in the region had not increased .
Trudeau has been careful to avoid blaming the president of the United States, Donald Trump, for the deaths that followed in the wake of the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, the chief general of Iran in the United States.
“If there wasn’t a recent climbing in the region, those Canadians would now be home with their families.” Trudeau said in an interview with Global News Television on Monday. “This is something that happens when you have conflicts and war. The innocent are the most affected. “
Some Canadians, including a leading corporate leader, blame Trump in part for the deaths. Trudeau said he had talked to Trump.
“I have talked about the tremendous pain and loss that Canadians feel and the need for clear answers about how this happened and how we will make sure it never happens again,” Trudeau said.
Trudeau added that “obviously” he would have liked a warning before Trump ordered the murder of Soleimani. Canada has troops in Iraq as part of a NATO training mission.
Trudeau said there is also anger against Iran, which admitted on Saturday that it shot down the plane in a “disastrous mistake.”
“There is a demand for justice. And that is completely, completely to be expected and must be attended very carefully by the Iranian government,” Trudeau said.
Canadian experts to help
On Monday, the UN aviation agency, ICAO, said in a statement that it had accepted Iran’s invitation to provide expert advice to support the investigation.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) also said Monday that Iranian officials had invited him to participate in the analysis of the voice recorders and flight data of the aircraft.
TSB President Kathy Fox said that Iran has invited the agency to participate as an observer for the download and analysis of “black boxes” anywhere, anytime, and the agency hopes to play a more important role.
“We are working very hard to build trust every day so we can attract,” Fox said. “Canada’s role is evolving. It remains to be seen how far that will go.”
Natacha Van Themsche, director of investigations, said Canadian experts have also been invited to inspect the remains and the location of the accident; an unusual step since the plane did not occur in Canada and the accident did not occur there.
Two Canadian researchers obtained visas to travel to Iran and a second team with experience in downloading and analyzing recorders will be sent.
The plane crashed early Wednesday, hours after Iran launched missile attacks against Iraq in retaliation for Soleimani’s death. The majority of those who died were Iranians and Iranians-Canadians.
After initially pointing out a technical failure and insisting that the armed forces were not to blame, the Iranian authorities admitted on Saturday that they accidentally shot down the plane while preparing for possible US reprisals.
Van Themsche said the agency will also investigate why Iranian airspace was not closed to civilian traffic due to the attacks.
Canada suspended diplomatic relations with Iran in 2012, but Trudeau and Canadian Foreign Minister have been in contact with their Iranian counterparts since the plane was shot down.
Canada’s Foreign Minister and envoys from other countries whose citizens were on board the plane will meet in London on Thursday to share information. Those who died also included people from Ukraine, Sweden, Afghanistan, the United Kingdom and Germany.