Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has reaffirmed Canada's commitment to pursue justice for the “senseless” deaths of those onboard an airliner downed by Iran in 2020.

Trudeau made the comments in a meeting with family members of victims of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 that was shot down by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard on January 8, 2020.

Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport and Ralph Goodale, High Commissioner in the United Kingdom were also present in the meeting which was held on the anniversary of the tragic event.

A statement published by Global Affairs Friday said, “Canada honors the victims of Flight PS752 and all air disasters and continues to stand in solidarity with their families and loved ones.”

“Canada and its partners in the Coordination Group—Sweden, Ukraine and the United Kingdom—continue to work together to hold Iran accountable for the downing of Flight PS752 and ensure full reparations are made for the deaths of 176 innocent people,” reads the statement.

On December 28, 2022, the Coordination Group of countries affected by the tragic incident announced an important step in the pursuit of accountability in accordance with international law. Members of the group Britain, Canada, Sweden, and Ukraine urged Iran to agree to arbitration as Tehran has stonewalled over an independent investigation and proper compensation.

Bodies recovered after the downing of flight PS752 on January 8, 2020

The airliner was shot down by two air-defense missiles fired by the IRGC as it took off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport. Hours earlier, the IRGC had fired more than a dozen missiles at Iraqi bases hosting US troops in retaliation for the killing of the IRGC Quds Force Commander Ghasem Soleimani who was targeted by a US drone strike just five days earlier.

All 176 passengers and crew, including 63 Canadians and 10 from Sweden, as well as 82 Iranian citizens on the plane died in the disaster.

Iranian activist groups have called for large rallies both in Iran and abroad on Sunday, January 8 to mark the third anniversary of the incident, coupled with ongoing antigovernment protests.

The execution of two more protesters in Iran on Saturday may add to the intensity of the gatherings on Sunday.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported January 6 that Ottawa is weighing the options regarding claims that Iran’s envoy to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Farhad Parvaresh might have had involvements with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

Parvaresh is currently based in Canada and some are demanding that the federal government impose restrictions on his movements.

Parvaresh was the head of government airline, Iran Air during the years when the company’s aircraft were used to transport weapons to Syria, a task organized and controlled by IRGC’s extraterritorial Quds (Qods) Force.

In a confidential audio recording obtained by Iran International in April 2021, former foreign minister Javad Zarif told an Iranian journalist that Iran Air was extensively used to ferry weapons to Damascus. The authenticity of the long audio recording was not disputed. Zarif’s reference was to early and mid-2010s, when Parvaresh headed Iran Air.

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