Canada PM: The victims of the plane would not have lost their lives had it not been for the regional tensions


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the victims of the Ukrainian International Airlines plane shot down by Iran could have been alive had it not been for the recent escalation of tension in the region, according to an interview he gave to Global News.

The United States’ killing of a prominent Iranian military commander, Qassem Soleimani, in an air strike on a March 3 plane, prompted Iran to launch a missile attack on Iraqi bases that include US forces on the eighth of the same month, a few hours before the airliner was shot down. All 176 people on board were killed, including 57 Canadians.

“I think if there were no tensions, if there had been no escalation in the recent period in the region, these Canadians would be at home today with their families,” Trudeau said in the interview on Monday.

He added that Canada had not received a notification before the United States killed Soleimani and that he “certainly” would have preferred to receive such notice.

“We are trying to act as an international community on major issues. But sometimes countries take action without notifying their allies.”

Trudeau said the government was working as quickly as possible to return the bodies of the victims for burial, but it would likely take weeks “or even maybe months”.

Canada said on Monday that Iran had indicated that Canadian investigators would take an active role in the investigation into the plane crash, which Tehran said over the weekend had been caused by a missile it fired in error.


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