Iran plane downing: 'Several people detained' for shooting down airliner

Clay Curtis
January 15, 2020

He did not disclose how many people had been arrested. I confirmed this to @JustinTrudeau once more.

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.

"Iran must take full responsibility", Trudeau said.

Asked whether Ottawa would demand that Tehran pay financial compensation to the families of Canadian victims, Trudeau indicated that it would.

The plane, en route to the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew members from several countries, including 82 Iranians, 57 Canadians - including many Iranians with dual citizenship - and 11 Ukrainians, according to officials.

The Canadian leader said he has spoken to Trump about the doomed flight.

So far, Canada's Transportation Safety Board (TSB) has said Iran indicated that Canada will be able to play a more active role than global rules require in the investigation.

There were few details of the specific charges announced Tuesday by an Iranian judiciary spokesman.

The plane crash happened just hours after Iran launched air strikes against two military bases in Iraq where US forces, and some Canadians, were stationed.

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The announcement came shortly after Iran's president called for a special court to be set up to probe the downing last week of the plane by Iranian forces, and amid an upswell of anger and protests by Iranians in recent days over the downing of the jetliner last Wednesday and attempts by senior officials in Iran to cover-up the cause of the crash. "The entire world will be watching".

While Rouhani pointed to mistakes and negligence, he also repeated the government's line that the tragedy was ultimately rooted in US aggression.

Canadian investigators were expected to have their first visit to the crash site outside of Tehran today, as part of an worldwide team looking into the sequence of events that ended with the plane hitting the ground in flames.

The commander went on to suggest the government could have waited "two or three months" before announcing the real cause of the crash, to allow the Guard more time to bask in public support after the killing of Qasem Soleimani and the missile barrage fired against United States forces in Iraq.

Tensions sharply escalated further after on January 3, when a U.S. airstrike killed Iran's most powerful commander, Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, in Baghdad.

"Iran will punish all those responsible for accidentally knocking down a Ukrainian passenger plane, having confused it with a hostile cruise missile", Rouhani said. "It was the US that created an unusual situation".

"There's no blame here for America". The reason why anything escalated because Iran went and bombed tankers, Iran shot down a USA drone, Iran did something much different: Killed a United States citizen. Iran shot down an innocent commercial airliner.

Ali Rabeei, a spokesman for Mr. Rouhani, has said that the government did not lie, but initially made incorrect statements because it did not have all the relevant information in a tense, fast-changing situation.

"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", the Prime Minister said.

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