Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday that intelligence from multiple sources indicates an Iranian surface-to-air missile downed the Ukraine International Airlines flight that crashed outside Tehran, killing all on board including 138 people who were headed to Canada.
Here is his opening statement:
What happened yesterday was a tragedy — a tragedy that shocked not only Canada, but the world. Before we go any further, I want to extend once again my most sincere condolences to the families of the victims and their loved ones. I and we are all standing with you …
Since I last addressed Canadians, there have been ongoing discussions with foreign ministers, senior intelligence and military officials, including the fourth meeting of our incident response group.
There have been important developments regarding the potential causes of this deadly crash, developments of which Canadians should be made aware. The news will undoubtedly come as a further shock to the families who are already grieving in the face of this unspeakable tragedy.
We have intelligence from multiple sources — including our allies and our own intelligence — the evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile. This may well have been unintentional.
This new information reinforces the need for a thorough investigation into this matter. Canada is working with its allies to ensure that a thorough and credible investigation is conducted to determine the causes of this fatal crash. As I said yesterday, Canadians have questions and they deserve answers.
Last night, Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne spoke with Iranian Foreign Minister (Mohammad Javad) Zarif. Minister Champagne made it clear that Canadian officials must immediately be granted access to Iran in order to provide consular services, identify the victims, and participate in a thorough investigation.
He also condemned Iranian strikes that targeted military bases in Iraq, where coalition forces, including Canadians, are currently stationed.
Minister Zarif committed to continuing this dialogue with Canada as we seek answers.
I spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky earlier today and conveyed my condolences to the many Ukrainians who perished in this tragedy. He assured me that Ukraine is taking all necessary measures to ensure a thorough investigation and we will work closely with Ukraine and our partners throughout this process.
I also called Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands. He shared with me his experience in handling the aftermath and investigation into Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.
I also spoke with (French) President (Emmanuel) Macron once again today and President Macron offers his assistance as we go through these extraordinarily difficult times. I am also in contact with several other international leaders and discussions are continuing.
In light of this new information, it is now more important than ever that we know exactly how such a tragedy could have happened. The families of the victims and all Canadians want answers. I want answers. That means closure, transparency, accountability and justice and this government will not rest until we get that.