Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday appeared to cast blame on President Trump and the US for the downing by Iran of a Ukrainian jetliner that was allowed to take off from Tehran following an Iranian airstrike on US troops in Iraq just hours earlier.
“I think if there were no tensions, if there was no escalation recently in the region, those Canadians would be right now home with their families,” Trudeau told Global News television.
All 176 people – including 57 Canadians — aboard Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 were killed when the Revolutionary Guard mistakenly fired a missile at the Boeing 737 just after takeoff from Tehran.
“This is something that happens when you have conflict and war. Innocents bear the brunt of it and it is a reminder why all of us need to work so hard on de-escalation, moving forward to reduce tensions and find a pathway that doesn’t involve further conflict and killing,” Trudeau continued, appearing to reference Trump’s order of a drone strike that killed Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on Jan. 2.
His remarks come ahead of a meeting being hosted by Canada on Thursday in London in which members of the International Coordination and Response Group plan to look at ways to demand justice.
Canada’s Transportation Safety Board said Monday that Iranian officials have invited it to participate in analysis of the voice and flight data recorders. “I think full admission, acknowledgment of responsibility and some form of compensation is going to have to come,” said Trudeau, who has faced questions about whether he believes Trump bears some responsibility for disaster.