Canada finds no evidence Iran’s downing of airliner was premeditated
OTTAWA, June 24 (Reuters) – Canada said Thursday it had found no evidence that Iran’s downing of a Ukrainian airliner last year was premeditated, and condemned what ‘he called the incompetence and recklessness of officials.
Iran has admitted to shooting down the airliner shortly after taking off from Tehran in January 2020, killing 176 people, and blamed a “disastrous mistake” made by forces on high alert during a confrontation with United States.
A special Canadian forensic team tasked with reviewing all available information on the incident, including classified information, said it had “found no evidence that Iranian authorities ordered the slaughter or that ‘ it was premeditated ”.
In a report, the team added: “This in no way absolves Iran of its responsibility in the deaths of 176 innocent people.” The dead included 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents.
Ottawa has repeatedly complained that Iran’s official explanation failed to answer many important questions about the crash of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752.
“Iranian civil and military authorities bear full responsibility. Flight PS752 was shot down for their recklessness, incompetence and blind disregard for human life, ”Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote in the report.
“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.”
In March, Iranian civil aviation blamed the crash on misaligned radar and an error by an air defense operator. Iran has indicted 10 officials. Read more
“In the context of military operations, a misalignment of this nature should have been detected,” the report concludes, adding that Iran has not provided “a credible explanation” as to why the aircraft was targeted. .
Canada and other countries are seeking redress for the families of the victims. Canada does not have formal diplomatic relations with Iran, which makes the process long and complex.
Reporting by Steve Scherer, editing by David Ljunggren and David Gregorio
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