In a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed reports that the Ukrainian airliner that crashed on Wednesday morning had been shot down by an Iranian missile. Describing the incident as a “tragedy” Trudeau paid tribute once again to the 176 passengers, including the 63 Canadians that were killed in the deadly crash.
According to new reports on Thursday afternoon, the Ukraine airliner that crashed on the outskirts of Tehran on Wednesday may have been brought down accidentally by Iranian air defences, such as a missile.
The Associated Press quoted two unnamed U.S. officials as saying it was "highly likely" that an Iranian anti-craft missile was responsible for shooting down the Boeing 737-800 passenger plane.
Speaking on Wednesday, Prime Minister Trudeau described the latest reports as a "shock," going on to add, "we have intelligence from multiple sources including our allies and our own intelligence. The evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile."
The passenger aircraft, which was bound for Ukraine, crashed just minutes after taking off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini international airport on Wednesday.
All of the passengers and crew on board were killed in the crash, and Iran’s Red Crescent reported “no chance of finding survivors.”
Of the 176 victims, 63 are reported to have been Canadian, many of whom were students.
In moments Prime Minister @JustinTrudeau will address the nation and provide an update on the plane crash in Iran.… https://t.co/bKXqUbLj8y— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@Cormac Mac Sweeney)1578595430.0
Speaking to the press on Thursday, Justin Trudeau confirmed, “There have been ongoing discussions and there have been important developments regarding the potential causes of this deadly crash."
"It is now more important than ever that we know exactly how such a tragedy could have happened."
He continued, “I want answers. That means closure. Transparency. Accountability. Justice. This government won't rest until we get that.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks in Ottawa following the fatal plane crash outside of Tehran, Iran, that claime… https://t.co/Pu334EfLum— CanadianPM (@CanadianPM)1578543491.0
Following reports that the aircraft may have been downed by Iranian air defences, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh tweeted, “The shocking news that Flight 752 may have been shot down makes the situation in the region even more volatile."
Singh went on, "I'm repeating our call for the gov't to call the House of Commons back. [Canadians] deserve answers and to be heard before the gov't makes any decisions and things escalate.”
The shocking news that Flight 752 may have been shot down makes the situation in the region even more volatile. I'… https://t.co/oyQ6u1nUiU— Jagmeet Singh (@Jagmeet Singh)1578595096.0
The Tehran crash came just hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack against U.S. troops in Iraq, in response to a U.S. drone strike that killed an Iranian Revolutionary Guard general last week.
On Thursday, Iran's civil aviation authority stated that it was "impossible" for a missile to have hit the Ukrainian plane, and claimed the reports were "illogical rumours."