Iran announced arrests today in the downing of the Ukrainian airliner that killed all 176 people on board last week as Canada and its worldwide allies prepared for a meeting to push for justice for families of the victims.
The prime minister said he made the demand in a call with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, who admitted earlier Saturday that the airliner was mistakenly shot down by Iranian missiles. "We should assure people that it will not happen again", Rouhani said. In a joint statement, the four countries said they still seek an agreement with Tehran and are not part of the American "maximum pressure" campaign.
Iran's military claims that it never sought to cover up its mistake and had immediately informed authorities about the incident, but that this information was withheld from the public pending further investigation into the matter.
Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday that while US policies toward the Islamic Republic were the root cause of the mistake, that didn't excuse Iranian officials from confronting their own responsibility in the disaster.
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At that night, the air defense was at the highest level of alert following IRGC's missile attacks against a USA base in Iraq, which came in retaliation for the US' assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.
The incident raised questions about why Iran did not shut down its worldwide airport or airspace the day it was bracing for USA military retaliation.
"I think a significant question that Canadians, particularly the families of these victims, are going to have is, are 63 Canadians dead because of the unintended consequences of a decision made by the US president?"
On January 8, the Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) flight PS75 crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran, killing all the 176 people on board.
Iran's presidential administration insists that President Hassan Rouhani was kept in the dark about the cause of the Ukrainian plane crash for more than two days. There were reports that Iranian security forces fired live rounds and tear gas to disperse the demonstrators at Tehran's central Azadi Square.
The authorities' handling of the air disaster has also angered some Iranians.More news: Pope Benedict XVI makes rare statement on priest celibacy debate
"I have spoken to him and I have talked about the need to de-escalate tensions", said Trudeau.
"The November protests were caused by the Rouhani government but the Revolutionary Guard sacrificed itself and put them down, but this time the government is passive in the face of the attacks on the Revolutionary Guard", he said.
Over 40 people came out to Victoria Park today, chanting, "we want justice, we want answers".
Two Canadian investigators have obtained visas to travel to Iran and a second team with expertise in recorder download and analysis will be sent. "They must explain this whole process to the people", he said.
Nevertheless, safety board officials said the access granted by Iran to Canada has gone beyond what is required under global protocols.
Canada, Ukraine, Britain and other nations who had citizens on the plane have scheduled a meeting on Thursday in London to consider legal action against Tehran.More news: Stefanski officially hired as Browns' GM search continues