Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said he does not believe Iran’s destruction of Flight PS752 can be blamed on human error.
In an exclusive interview with CBC News Network’s Power & Politics on Tuesday, Champagne was asked if he accepts Iran’s explanation for the crash. The minister said he did not — but refused to say where he believes the blame should be laid.
“Well, we’ll let the process unfold,” he told Host Vassy Kapelos. “What I say is that we saw missiles being fired at the airline, and that, for me, raised all sorts of questions.”
Champagne also said he’s concerned about the quality of information about the crash probe being released by the regime in Tehran. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) shot down the Ukraine International Airlines plane on Jan. 8 with surface-to-air missiles shortly after it took off in Tehran — killing all 176 people onboard, including 138 people with ties to Canada.
“I will question everything they say because I take nothing at face value,” Champagne said. “I have questions, because there’s too many examples that we’ve seen where … they have not been forthcoming.”
Champagne said the task of getting to the bottom of what happened has been difficult, since Canada lacks access to witnesses, evidence and suspects. He said he would continue to press Iran for answers.
The minister’s comments came on the day Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s special adviser on the destruction of Flight PS752, Ralph Goodale, released a report. In it, the former federal cabinet minister said that Iran should not be left in charge of the investigation since it was the actions of the Iranian military that caused the crash.
“The party responsible for the situation is investigating itself, largely in secret,” Goodale wrote in the report. “That does not inspire confidence or trust.”
“In the circumstances of this case, as known thus far, there are indications of incompetence, recklessness and wanton disregard for innocent human life.”