Trudeau: Plane victims would be alive if not for US-Iran tensions

Trudeau says Canadians feeling ‘tremendous grief and loss’ and need ‘clear answers’ about what happened to the aircraft

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said the 176 people, including 57 Canadians, on board the Ukrainian aircraft shot down by a missile shortly after it took off from Tehran last week would still be alive if tensions in the region had not escalated.

Trudeau has been careful to avoid blaming US President Donald Trump for the deaths which followed in the wake of the US assassination of Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s top general.

“If there was no escalation recently in the region, those Canadians would be right now home with their families,” Trudeau said in an interview with Global News Television on Monday. “This is something that happens when you have conflict and the war. Innocents bear the brunt of it.”

Some Canadians including a leading corporate leader blame Trump in part for the deaths. Trudeau said he had spoken to Trump.

“I’ve talked about the tremendous grief and loss that Canadians are feeling and the need for clear answers on how this happened and how we’re going to make sure it never happens again,” Trudeau said.

Trudeau added that he would have “obviously” liked a warning before Trump ordered Soleimani’s killing. Canada has troops in Iraq as part of a NATO training mission.

Trudeau said there is also anger directed at Iran which admitted on Saturday that it had shot down the plane in a “disastrous mistake“.

“There is a demand for justice. And that is entirely, entirely to be expected and should be heeded very carefully by the Iranian government,” Trudeau said.

Read also:
European powers move toward scrapping nuclear accord with Iran