Trudeau says evidence indicates Ukraine plane shot down by Iranian missile

Justin Trudeau

PRIME Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday told the media in Ottawa: “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.”

He added: “This may well have been unintentional.”

All 176 people on board the Ukraine International Airlines flight, including 63 Canadians, were killed.

Trudeau said that Foreign Affairs Minister Françcois-Philippe Champagne made it clear to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif that Canadian officials must immediately be granted access to Iran to provide consular services, identify the victims and participate in a thorough investigation.

He added: “The families of the victims, and all Canadians, want answers. I want answers. That means closure, transparency, accountability and justice. This government will not rest until we get that.”

Canada doesn’t have diplomatic representation in Iran.

(The Transportation Safety Board of Canada announced later on Thursday that “in accordance with Annex 13, part 5.27 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation, which is governed by the International Civil Aviation Organization, the TSB has been invited by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau of the Islamic Republic of Iran to attend the accident site.” It added: “We have accepted this invitation and we are making arrangements to travel to the site. The TSB will be working with other groups and organizations already on site.”)

When asked how much responsibility the US bears for the crash given the tension in the region, Trudeau said: “The evidence suggests that this is the likely cause, but we need to have a full and complete and credible investigation to establish exactly what happened. That is what we are calling for and that is what we’re expecting will happen.”

CNN’s Barbara Starr is reporting that the plane was shot down by two Russian-made surface to air missiles (SA-15), according to a US official familiar with the intelligence. 

“The US saw Iranian radar signals lock onto the jetliner, before it was shot down. The morning after the incident, US analysts discovered the data but took another day to verify,” according to CNN.