In an announcement on Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told press in Ottawa that the government will provide $25,000 per victim to the families of Canadian citizens and permanent residents who died in the Ukrainian Airlines plane crash in Tehran last week.
57 Canadian citizens and 29 permanent residents were among the 176 people who died when the UIA flight 752 crashed just moments after taking off from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport in Iran on the morning of Wednesday January 8th.
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This compensation is expected to assist with immediate expenses incurred by the victims’ families in the aftermath of the tragedy, and Trudeau says the money will be dispersed to them as quickly as possible in the upcoming days.
“Canada continues to call for a thorough and credible investigation into last week’s tragedy…as we speak, Minister Champagne is in Oman meeting with his Iranian counterpart to discuss how we can bring justice and accountability to the families of the victims,” said Trudeau.
The Canadian government also expects full compensation to the victims’ families to come from the Iranian government, but believes that this measure will take more time to implement.
In the meantime, the $25,000 per victim is expected to help families take care of various costs – among others, those associated with traveling to and from Iran to recover the bodies of their loved ones during an expensive and difficult political atmosphere for travel.
The Ukrainian Airlines flight 752 crash has been confirmed to have been caused by at least one Iranian surface-to-air missile.
In his original statement quoted in Iranian news agency ISNA, the head of Iran’s of Civil Aviation Organization, Ali Abedzade, denied reports that the airplane was hit by an Iranian missile.
“Scientifically, it is impossible that a missile hit the Ukrainian plane, and such rumors are illogical,” ISNA quoted Abedzadeh.
However when North American intelligence and media reports showed a missile hitting the aircraft in mid-air just minutes after take-off, it triggered protests and calls for transparency from the government in Tehran and other Iranian cities.
Shortly afterwards, the Iranian military took responsibility for the attack, stating that an air defence operator had mistaken the UIA plane for a U.S. cruise missile.
According to a recent Globe and Mail report, several people in Iran have been arrested in connection with the incident over the past 72 hours and investigations are under way after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called it an “unforgivable error”.
On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Global News, “I think if there were no tensions, if there was no escalation recently in the region, those Canadians would be right now home with their families,” speaking about the recent tensions between the US and Iran.
This statement was reported by Iranian media shortly afterwards.