TRENTON (AA): Responding to Iran’s admission that it “unintentionally” shot down a passenger plane belonging to the Ukraine International Airlines, Canada’s premier Justin Trudeau said his government sought a full investigation into the incident.
All 176 people, including 57 Canadians, on board the plane were killed in the incident that took place just after takeoff from Tehran on Wednesday.
“We will continue working with our partners around the world to ensure a compete and thorough investigation, and the Canadian government expects full cooperation from Iranian authorities,” Trudeau said.
Of the passengers, 138 were flying from Tehran to Ukraine’s capital Kiev, then were to board connecting flights to Canada.
“Our focus remains closure, accountability, transparency and justice for the families and loved ones of the victims. This is a national tragedy, and all Canadians are mourning together,” he added.
In a Twitter post, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said: “The Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake.”
Rouhani also tweeted that “investigations continue to identify and prosecute this great tragedy and unforgivable mistake.”
But Iranian officials also blamed the U.S. for the tragedy.
A few hours before the crash, Iran had fired missiles at some bases in Iraq where U.S. and coalition troops were stationed. The attack was revenge for the U.S.’s killing of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani.
Iranian officials said its military was on high alert in case of American retaliation and that led to believing the doomed plane was an enemy aircraft.
Flight PS752 took off and flew close to a “sensitive military spot” and the plane was brought down due to “human error.”
“Human error at a time of crisis caused by U.S. adventurism led to disaster,” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif wrote on Twitter.
On Friday, Canada announced it along with other nations that lost citizens in the crash set up an International Coordination and Response Group for families of victims of PS752.
Besides Canada, participating countries include Ukraine, Sweden, Afghanistan and the United Kingdom.