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June 24, 2024

Canada Seeks Justice on 4-Year Anniversary of Flight PS752 Downing

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Jan 9, 2024

Today marks four years since Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 shortly after takeoff from Tehran’s airport, killing all 176 passengers and crew. As victims’ families and government leaders gathered to honor those lost, Canada announced new efforts to hold Iran accountable.

Trudeau Joins Mourners, Vows to Support Families in Seeking Justice

At a memorial ceremony in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid tribute to victims and recommitted to designating Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization.

“We owe it to the families and loved ones of the victims to pursue justice and accountability with all the tools at our disposal,” said Trudeau. “Listing the IRGC as a terrorist organization will signal to Iran that its actions have consequences.”

Canada is under increasing pressure to list the IRGC after failing to secure consensus last year. Victims’ families have long called for its terrorist designation as a crucial step toward closure and preventing future atrocities.

Trudeau also emphasized supporting families through their grief and pledge assistance in their ongoing legal battle. “We will continue to stand with you,” he said.

International Partners Launch Legal Action to Hold Iran Accountable

On January 8th, Canada and its partners Sweden, Ukraine, and the UK triggered dispute proceedings through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council – a United Nations body overseeing global air transport.

The joint action represents rising frustrations with Iran’s failure to properly investigate and compensate victims’ families over the last four years. It seeks to accelerate stalled negotiations by bringing the issue before an international dispute panel.

Country Number of Citizens Killed on Flight PS752
Canada 55
Sweden 10
Ukraine 82
United Kingdom 4

Total Deaths: 176

In a joint statement, the four countries said Iran’s “downing of Flight PS752 was an appalling dereliction of its international obligations” that still lacks proper explanation or consequences.

By referring Iran to the ICAO for formal arbitration, Canada and its allies hope an independent investigation will finally yield answers and just reparations after years of Iranian obstructionism.

Families Demand IRGC Terrorist Designation on Remembrance Day

Grieving families utilized the sombre anniversary to amplify calls for Canada to list Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization.

The IRGC overseer Iran’s ballistic missile program and foreign military interventions in addition to domestic security and intelligence operations. Canada currently lists only its clandestine Quds Force as a terror group.

Victims’ families demand fully terrorist branding to signal Canada considers the PS752 downing an intentional act of terror – not just a reckless mistake as Iran claims.

“The IRGC needs to be designated a terrorist organization in Canada to make it crystal clear that their actions were intentional,” said Javad Soleimani, who lost his wife in the missile attack.

Name Relation to Flight PS752 Victim
Javad Soleimani Spouse
Hamed Esmaeilion Spouse
Shahin Moghaddam Spouse
Mehdi Sadeghi Spouse

Iran’s ongoing mistreatment of grieving families also fuels calls for terrorist designation. Relatives at the remembrance ceremony accused Tehran of ramping up harassments and intimidations tactics to silence criticism as the 4-year anniversary renewed attention on their plight.

Listing the entirety of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a terror group would allow tougher sanctions and send a stern warning against further belligerence. It remains unclear if Trudeau can secure adequate political and public support for the controversial move.

Relatives Allege Ongoing “Psychological Warfare” from Iran

In an emotional press conference, relatives of Flight PS752 victims catalogued alleged abuses faced for daring to criticize Iranian authorities over the disaster and its aftermath.

Family members say they endure constant digital harassment, intimidation threats, and smear campaigns labelling them traitors, saboteurs, and foreign agents. Tehran also routinely obstructs court proceedings, withholds information, and denies entry to Iran for relatives giving victim testimony.

“It’s psychological warfare designed to silence families and conceal the truth,” said Hamed Esmaeilion, who lost his wife and daughter. “The longer we seek justice, the more Iran threatens and mistreats us.”

Heartbroken relatives contrast Iran’s malfeasance with Canada’s support and solidarity. They thanked Trudeau for keeping PS752 on the government’s agenda but reiterated calls for urgent action as Tehran grows increasingly hostile.

Outrage as Iran Fails to Hold Officials Accountable

Coinciding with the 4-year remembrance event, news emerged that Iran recently released high-ranking officers most responsible for downing Flight PS752.

Tehran’s military prosecutor cleared two Revolutionary Guard commanders of criminal negligence charges and freed a third commander from house arrest without explanation.

IRGC Commanders Cleared of Charges Former Role
Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh IRGC Aerospace Commander
Gen. Hassan Shahvarpour Head of IRGC Missile Base
IRGC Commander Freed From Arrest Former Role
Gen. Hamid Baeidinejad Base Air Defense Commander

The secretly closed case effectively exonerates senior IRGC officials despite conclusively determining human error brought down the passenger plane.

Grieving families decried the appalling miscarriage of justice. “We will remember their names and faces,” warned Javad Soleimani. “Iran may close the book on this atrocity, but we never will.”

Canada also expressed outrage. “There must be accountability. Dismissing charges without explanation denies victims justice,” Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly tweeted.

What Comes Next?

Today’s legal action through ICAO and families’ inflamed demands indicate Canada seeks to increase pressure on Iran through sanctions and international condemnation.

Terrorist designation of the IRGC remains contentious but would undoubtedly ratchet up tensions. Some critics warn the move could needlessly endanger remaining Canadian citizens trapped in Iran.

Trudeau reiterated Canada’s commitment to stand by victims’ families and explores ways to go beyond strongly worded statements.

Tehran remains defiant as ever, entrenched in misinformation and victim blaming. Without cooperation from Iran, the tireless pursuit of justice by heartbroken families faces daunting obstacles.

The 4-year anniversary of Flight PS752 promised to renew global attention on the preventable tragedy. But Iran seems determined as ever to obstruct accountability for the devastating missile attack.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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