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

The bobsled race has traditionally been a staple event at the carnival. File photo
Upcoming Rossland Winter Carnival cancelled due to COVID-19 crisis

This is the first time the carnival won’t be held in decades

A tender for the project will be sent out on BC Bid. Photo: B.C. Government
Nakusp Elementary School child care centre set to open in May 2022

Conceptual drawings and project timelines for centre have already been complete

People participating at a Remembrance Day event in Nakusp in 2016. Photo: Jillian Trainor
Scaled-down Remembrance Day event to take place in Nakusp

People are asked to physically distance and wear masks if they attend the event

A view of proposed seniors housing on Vernon St. Illustration: City of Nelson/ Vendure Retirement Communities
Nelson seniors housing project to start construction in the spring

Private development on Vernon Street will provide assisted living services as well as housing

test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
Interior Health records third COVID-19 death

A new community outbreak was reported at Okanagan Men’s Centre in Lake Country

Sooke’s Paul Larouche enjoys gold panning along the Sooke River, looking for small treasures. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
VIDEO: Island man finds niche audience by gold-panning on YouTube

Paul Larouche, 29, with over 215,000 subscribers, opens up about his journey

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

Blue Sky Kingdom.
Kimberley’s Bruce Kirkby publishes “Blue Sky Kingdom” documenting family adventure to Zanskar

Kirkby third book explores spirituality, mental health, modernity and tradition

CBSA. (Black Press Media File)
4 sentenced in B.C. steroid smuggling, distribution ring that spilled into U.S.

Canadian Border Services Agency announced the results of a lengthy investigation it called ‘Project Trajectory’

Search and Rescue Technicians carry a stretcher to the CH149 Cormorant during a 442 Squadron Search and Rescue Exercise in Tofino on February 28. (Photo by: Cpl Joey Beaudin, 19 Wing Imaging, Comox)
Father and son found dead after weeklong search near Pemberton

The father and son had set out for a day of mushroom picking last Thursday

A full moon rises over Mt. Cheam on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
Rare full moon, Daylight Saving makes for a uniquely spooky Halloween – despite COVID-19

We can’t host costume parties but this weekend is still one for the history books

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

A study by SlotsOnlineCanada notes there is at least 88 hours of top-rated horror movies for Canadians to consume this Halloween. (Unsplash)
Spooks and Chill study reveals Canada’s favourite horror flicks

88 hours of top-rated horror movies can fill COVID-19 Halloween

Most Read