A number of Western leaders have called for a full investigation into the crash of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752, which killed 176 people.
On Thursday night, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said evidence received indicated “the plan was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile”.
“This reinforces the need for a thorough investigation,” said the Canadian Prime Minister, asserting that Canada, which lost 63 Canadians in the plane crash, deserves answers.
“I am willing to talk to anyone to get answers.”
Trudeau’s comments came after a number of United States officials familiar with intelligence surrounding the plane crash claimed that two Russian-made surface-to-air missiles had shot down the passenger plane, reports CNN.
According to CNN, US officials said that the ‘US saw Iranian radar signals lock onto the jetliner, before it was shot down”.
Iran denies the plane was shot down. According to the BBC, Iran’s Civil Aviation Organisation (CAOI) chief Ali Abedzadeh reasserted the plane had faced technical problems and had attempted to head back to the airport.
“The plane, which was initially headed west to leave the airport zone, turned right following a problem and was headed back to the airport at the moment of the crash,” said Abedzadeh according to the BBC.
“Scientifically, it is impossible that a missile hit the Ukrainian plane, and such rumours are illogical.”
Flight PS752, a Boeing 737, had been bound for Kiev from Tehran when it crashed on 8 January 2020. The plane crashed minutes after take off from the Imam Khomeini airport in Tehran with 176 people and crew on board, reported Iran’s Tasnim News Agency.
According to Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko, those killed in the crash include 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans and three British nationals.
The crash came hours after escalating tensions between Iran and the United States of America as a result of the killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.
In the early hours of 8 January 2020, Iran announced it had launched missiles at two air basis in Iraq that house United States and Coalition troops. The Iranian attack increased fears of an outbreak of war between Iran and the United States.