Trudeau meets Iran plane crash victims’ families as dispute over cause deepens
OTTAWA—An international dispute over the cause of the Tehran plane crash deepened on Friday even as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met the families of some of the dozens of Canadians killed in the crash and investigators scrambled to get into Iran.
The private conversations between Trudeau and the families of victims in Toronto were the latest attempt by the prime minister to reach out to those affected by Wednesday’s tragedy, which claimed the lives of 176 people, including 138 who were bound for Canada.
Trudeau previously attended a vigil on Parliament Hill to remember the victims Thursday, only hours after asserting that multiple intelligence sources had indicated the Ukraine International Airlines flight was brought down by an Iranian missile, possibly by accident.
Other vigils and memorials were being held across the country Friday and are planned throughout the weekend. There were also reports that Canada was sending a 10-person team to Iran to help the families of the deceased.
While the federal government did not speak to those reports, Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said representatives from Global Affairs Canada’s standing rapid deployment team and the Transportation Safety Board had arrived in Ankara, Turkey.
“To date, Iran has granted us two visas,” Champagne said on Twitter. “We are hoping the other visas will be approved soon so that we may begin to provide consular services, to help with the identification of victims and to participate in any investigation.”
Meanwhile, the dispute over exactly what happened to Flight 752 was heating up.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo became the highest-level American official to directly pin the blame on Iran, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australia’s Scott Morrison having made the same conclusions based on intelligence assessments.