#Ottawa; #Iran; #UkrainianPassengerPlane
Ottawa, May 29 (Canadian-Media): Iran is being pressured by Canada and four other countries to release the flight recorders from the Ukrainian passenger plane its forces shot down on Jan. 8, Transport Minister Marc Garneau said May 29 during a government briefing on a video link, media reports said.
Marc Garneau. Image credit: Twitter handle
During the Montreal meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on March 11, , Garneau had been promised by Iran's representative Farhad Parvaresh over the phone that his government would surrender the so-called "black boxes" to Ukrainian authorities by March 25.
Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was hit by two Iranian missiles shortly after taking off from Tehran airport. All 176 people on board died, including 55 Canadian citizens, 30 permanent residents, and other travelers were students and academics returning from a winter break.
The cause of the crash was initially covered by Iran but later was forced to admit that its Revolutionary Guard fired two missiles at the plane.
The incident occurred just after Iran launched missiles into Iraq at two American military bases in retaliation for the U.S. having killed Iran's top general, Qassem Soleimani, days earlier. One of the targeted bases housed Canadian troops.
Although ravaged by pandemic, Iran is required to surrender the flight recorders to honour its obligations under international civil aviation law, Garneau said.
An alliance with Canada was formed by Britain, Ukraine, Afghanistan and Sweden who also lost citizens when the plane was destroyed, to deal with Iran.
Former public safety minister Ralph Goodale who was appointed the Canadian government's special adviser on the file said Canada wants an answer to one crucial question: why did Iranian officials allow a civilian airliner to be exposed to military action in the midst of such a dangerous conflict?
"How did that happen and who was responsible for it happening?" Goodale said. "We're following every line of questioning and none of the answers are available yet."