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

Just Posted

VicPd are asking for the public’s help in finding Camper, a lost pit bull who ran away after their owner’s van was reportedly attacked by a man with a hammer on June 12. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Edmonton man reportedly smashes van’s windows with hammer while woman and her dog inside

VicPD are asking for help to find Camper, the woman’s dog who ran away during the Friday incident

Red arrow shows the existing warehouse that is home to a variety of specialized equipment used by the Capital Region Emergency Services Telecommunications (CREST). The service provider is looking for a new home that will protect the equipment in the event of an earthquake or other natural disaster. (Google Maps)
CREST telecoms look to find a post-seismic facility in Greater Victoria

The move will better protect equipment vital to its 50 emergency service clients across the CRD

(Black Press Media file photo)
FRESH AND LOCAL: Greater Victoria farm markets ready to greet shoppers

A list of markets on the go this spring and summer, right into fall

A temporary urgent and primary care centre will open in Esquimalt this week, offering residents more health care options in their own community. (Black Press Media file)
Esquimalt’s temporary urgent and primary care centre to open Monday

The Esquimalt Health Unit will house the temporary site, permanent location opening in December

A client and a staff member embark on an art project at Oak Bay United Church. (Christine van Reewyk/News Staff)
VIDEO: Oak Bay group of adults with developmental disabilities promotes community inclusivity

Victoria Community Connections moved to Oak Bay late last year

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Denmark soccer player Christian Eriksen collapses during game against Finland

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

Most Read