A police officer stands guard as debris is seen from an Ukrainian plane which crashed in Shahedshahr, southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, January 8, 2020. Two federal cabinet ministers say they expect more answers from Iranian officials about an air strike that downed a passenger plane earlier this year, killing everyone on board. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Ebrahim Noroozi

A police officer stands guard as debris is seen from an Ukrainian plane which crashed in Shahedshahr, southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, January 8, 2020. Two federal cabinet ministers say they expect more answers from Iranian officials about an air strike that downed a passenger plane earlier this year, killing everyone on board. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Ebrahim Noroozi

Garneau, Champagne pan Iranian report on downing of PS752 as limited, selective

The report does not provide any information about the moments leading up to the missile attack

The Canadian government has dismissed a new Iranian report on the deadly shootdown of a civilian jetliner in January, saying it provides only “limited and selected information” — and that Tehran still has many questions to answer.

The new report on Ukraine International Airline Flight PS752 released over the weekend provides several new details about what happened on Jan. 8, when two Iranian military missiles slammed into the plane shortly after takeoff from Tehran.

In particular, it says 19 seconds of data collected the plane’s flight-data recorders, also known as black boxes, showed the three-member flight crew “immediately began taking actions required to control the aircraft” after the first missile hit and before the second struck 25 seconds later.

Yet the report does not provide any information about the moments leading up to the missile attack, which Iran has said was an accident. The crash killed all 176 people on board, including 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents.

It also doesn’t explain why the missile was launched in the first place or why Iran’s airspace was open, given it had launched a ballistic missile attack against U.S. forces in neighbouring Iraq only hours earlier.

The ballistic missile attack was in response to an American drone strike that killed prominent Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad the previous week.

Those are the key questions that Canada and the international community want answered above all else, federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau and Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said in a statement Monday.

“We expect the Islamic Republic of Iran to provide an answer on important questions of why the missiles were launched in the first place and why the air space was open,” the statement said.

“These are the questions that Canada, Canadians and most importantly, the families of the innocent victims need answered.”

The two ministers also noted the brief report only mentions what happened after the first missile struck the aircraft, but made no reference to the second missile.

READ MORE: Compensation talks for victims of downed jetliner to start in October

The Transportation Safety Board, which had investigators in France for the downloading of the flight data last month, released a similar statement on Sunday confirming receipt of the report while raising the same questions as the ministers.

A representative for Canadian families and loved ones killed in the crash expressed frustration on Monday that Ottawa has not taken a harder stance with Iran, which he accused of stonewalling efforts to find out the truth about Flight PS752.

Hamed Esmaeilion, a Toronto-area dentist who lost his wife and daughter in the crash, said the federal government is “cautiously and delicately maintaining the correct position,” but that it should find ways to step up pressure on Tehran.

That includes calling out what Esmaeilion argued were clear breaches of Iran’s international obligations around investigating the crash and getting the RCMP more involved in efforts to hold those responsible to account.

International rules say Iran is to lead the investigation into the crash. But in their statement, Garneau and Champagne called on that country ”to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation,” adding they expect Iran to live up to its international commitments.

Iran initially denied responsibility for the crash before admitting — in the face of mounting evidence and international pressure — the Boeing 737-800 went down after being hit by two Iranian missiles.

Canada, along with the other countries that lost citizens on Flight PS752 — Britain, Sweden, Afghanistan and Ukraine — signed an agreement July 2 promising to work together to force Iran to pay compensation to the victims’ families.

An Iranian report last month blamed a number of errors for what it suggested was an avoidable tragedy, starting with the surface-to-air missile battery that targeted the aircraft having been relocated and not properly reoriented.

Those manning the missile battery also could not communicate with their command centre, the report said. They also misidentified the civilian flight as a threat and opened fire twice without getting approval from ranking officials.

The report did not say why the Iranian military moved the air-defence system, but noted the Ukrainian flight had done nothing out of the ordinary up until the missile launch, with its transponder and other data being broadcast.

Jordan Press and Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Flight 752 crash in Iran

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Masks are now officially mandatory in all City of Campbell River facilities. (Black Press File Photo)
Interior Health reports 49 new COVID-19 cases overnight

302 cases remain active; two in hospital

(File Photo)
Elkford releases DMP community engagement results

The results summarize feedback from six public engagement workshops held in October

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
104 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

IH is reporting the new numbers since Friday, Nov. 20

(File Photo)
Riders challenge Rockies in last game prior to mandated break

KIJHL games are set to resume on Dec. 4 following a two week long pause

.
Loblaws reports worker tested positive for COVID-19 in Fernie

The worker’s last shift at Kevin’s Your Independent Grocer was on November 10

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Beaver Creek RCMP Cpl. Robert Drapeau, left to right, Gary Bath, Lynn Marchessault, Payton Marchessault, Rebecca Marchessault and Tim Marchessault pose in this recent handout photo near the Canada-U.S. border crossing near Beaver Creek, Yukon. A family reunion trip for the woman from Georgia that left them stranded ended on a bright note when Bath drove them to the Alaskan border following an appeal for help. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Gary Bath *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Help from B.C. man allows American family to reunite in Alaska

Lynn Marchessault drove from Georgia to the Alaska border to join her husband, who serves in U.S. military

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

(Pixabay)
All dance studios, other indoor group fitness facilities must close amid updated COVID-19 rules

Prior announcement had said everything except spin, HIIT and hot yoga could remain open

Most Read