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Bill Kelly: Investigation into Iranian attack faces monumental challenges

Trudeau wants compensation, justice for Canadians on Flight 752
WATCH: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds his first television interview since Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was shot down in Iran.

We’re told Iran’s judiciary has made arrests over the shootdown of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, which resulted in the deaths of 176 passengers and crew.

The report doesn’t identify who was arrested or what the accused have been charged with, but frankly, we have every right to be skeptical of any pronouncements from this Iranian government.

These are the same people who denied any culpability in this tragedy in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

READ MORE: Iran announces first arrests over downing of Ukrainian passenger plane

In fact, one has to wonder if these arrests are a sincere attempt to enact justice, or just an attempt at damage control to placate an outraged global community and the tens of thousands of angry Iranians who flood the streets of Tehran to show their disgust for the government?

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Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) has begun its investigation into this tragedy, and so far, it seems that the Iranians are co-operating.

Canadian and Ukrainian officials have been granted visas to work in the probe, and we’re told they will have access to the black boxes that contain flight data, but public outrage demands that this investigation go much deeper.

Trudeau on Flight 752’s victims: They would be “home with their families”
Trudeau on Flight 752’s victims: They would be “home with their families”

Kathy Fox, chair of the TSB, says the investigation should also determine if the attack on Flight 752 was an accident, as the Iranians contend, or if it was intentional.

It’s a fair question.

On a night when the Iranians fired missiles at military bases that housed American troops, and with the expectation of an American reprisal, why wasn’t commercial air traffic grounded because of the heightened danger?

How could a civilian aircraft that was flying on a designated flight path be allegedly mistaken for an American military aircraft?

Those are just a couple of the questions tat the TSB wants to have answered, but that could be difficult.

Angry protesters storm streets in Iran over Flight 752
Angry protesters storm streets in Iran over Flight 752

Canada has a limited role in this investigation because it wasn’t a Canadian airliner that was shot down.

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We can only hope that other investigators will share the Canadian will to explore every aspect of the attack.

By questioning the credibility of the Iranian claim that the attack was accidental, Fox is confronting an uncomfortable truth: the ill-fated victims of Flight 752 may have been collateral damage in a high-stakes staredown between the United States and Iran.

As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in an exclusive interview with Global News anchor Dawna Friesen, if it hadn’t been for the heightened tension between those two countries, those 176 passengers would be home with their families today.

There are people in Washington and Tehran with blood on their hands who need to be held accountable.

Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML.

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