Andrew McCullough
Andrew McCullough
February 26, 2021

No Clear Answers in the Year After the Downing of Flight 752

Vigil for Flight 752 in 2020 | Photo by Jules Keenan

It has now been over a year since Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 was shot down by the Iranian military on January 8, 2020, and few answers have been provided by the Iranian government.

The flight was shot down shortly after taking off from the Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport, heading to Kyiv. All 176 passengers on board were killed. At least 138 passengers on the flight had known ties to Canada and 55 were Canadian citizens.

The tragedy took place amid rising tensions between the United States and Iran. The Iranian military has recently fired missiles upon US Forces stationed in Iraq, an act that the government said was in response to the American assassination of Qassem Soleimani, a revered Iranian General.

After initially denying responsibility for the plane’s downing, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps admitted to shooting down the plane with two surface-to-air missiles. 

Less than two weeks after the plane was shot down, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged $25 000 as compensation for each victim to aid families in covering funeral expenses. Trudeau appointed a special advisor, Ralph Goodale, in late March 2020 to oversee Canadian investigation into the matter. 

Goodale's role as special advisor was designated to pursue justice and compensation for the families impacted by the tragedy.

“We are very skeptical about the Iranian process,” stated Goodale, expressing doubt over the Iranian investigation into the crash. 

In July, Iran issued a report suggesting that Revolutionary Guard missile operators shot down the plane after mistaking it for a missile and assuming it was a threat. Canada’s Foreign Affairs Ministers Francois-Philippe Champagne has stated he doesn’t believe the crash was caused by human error.

On December 15, 2020, Goodale released a report detailing over a dozen recommendations. This report indicated that the goals of his position are to support the government in seeking justice for the families, identify best practices in dealing with aviation disasters, and offering advice on how such disasters can be prevented.

On December 30, 2020, the Iranian government announced they would provide $150 000 U.S. for each victim of the crash, as compensation to their families. 

 


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