Canada and its allies sent a stern message to Iran on Thursday: get ready to pay the families those who died on board the Ukrainian airliner it shot down, and don’t try to block any meaningful criminal prosecution of those responsible.
Those demands were among the five elements in the agreement that emerged from the meeting Canada hosted in London Thursday with representatives from Britain, Sweden, Afghanistan and Ukraine — countries that lost citizens in the crash of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752.“We are judging Iran every day, demand by demand,” Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said after a meeting of ministers.
The newly formed group of Iran watchers will have to remain vigilant for months, if not years, Champagne said.
The countries expect Iran to deal with them on providing compensation to the families of victims, and ensuring a transparent investigation into the downing of the aircraft.
The group also called on Iran to respect families’ wishes on repatriating the remains of the 176 people killed when the plane came down, full access for consular officials and investigators, and an independent and credible criminal investigation into last week’s crash.
Everyone on board was killed when one, though perhaps two, Iranian surface-to-air missiles hit the Ukrainian airliner. Iran lost 82 nationals in the crash, while 57 Canadians were killed. The Canadian Press has independently confirmed at least 89 victims with ties to Canada, many of them students and professors returning after spending the December break visiting relatives in Iran.