Trudeau says allied and Canadian intelligence indicates that a plane crash in Tehran is believed to have been caused by an Iranian missile.
In an address to the nation, televised on CPAC, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that, “Intelligence from multiple sources, including our allies and our own intelligence, indicates the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile.”
The Prime Minister added that the news, “will undoubtedly come as a further shock to the families who are already grieving in the face of this unspeakable tragedy.”
Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752 was merely six minutes into its trip from the Iranian capital of Tehran to Kyiv, Ukraine, when the aircraft caught fire and crashed. All 176 passengers and crew on board were killed in the crash. 63 Canadians are among the dead, including 27 Edmontonians and 2 Calgarians. 138 of the passengers had connecting flights to Canada upon arrival in Kyiv.
In addition to the Canadian deaths, 82 Iranians and 11 Ukrainians were among those killed the crash; 10 Swedish, 4 Afghan, 3 German and 3 British nationals also perished.
The Prime Minister refused to speculate on how Canada would respond in his statement, saying he and the Canadian government need a clear understanding of exactly what led to the disaster.
The plane crash unfolded mere hours after Iran sent missiles at U.S. forces in Iraq.
Trudeau's statement to the nation came after a series of reports out of the United States shared the claim that the ill-fated Boeing 737-800 aircraft was brought down by an Iranian missile, and not by mechanical failure as officials in Tehran had initially claimed. Sources, including the Pentagon, U.S. intelligence, and Iraqi intelligence, were also cited in a number of reports that suggested the strike was likely accidental.
Trudeau expressed the nation's sympathies to those impacted by the crash, saying, "On behalf of all Canadians, I want to express my deepest condolences to those who are mourning the loss of a loved one."
He added, in closing, "The families of the victims, and all Canadians, want answers. I want answers. That means closure, transparency, accountability, and justice. And this government will not rest until we get that."