Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday vowed to hold Iran’s “bloodthirsty and brutal regime” accountable for shooting down a plane that had dozens of Canadians on board in early 2020.
Trudeau’s comments to reporters in Nova Scotia came a day after Canada imposed sanctions on Iran over the death of 22-year-old Masha Amini.
Trudeau said Canada has been supporting the families of the victims on flight PS752, which was shot down in January 2020. The plane was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew members, including 82 Iranians, at least 63 Canadians, and 11 Ukrainians.
The crash came at a time of heightened tension between Iran and the United States. The shoot-down happened the same night Iran launched a ballistic missile attack targeting U.S. soldiers in Iraq, its response to the American drone strike that killed Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on Jan. 3, 2020. At the time, Iranian troops were bracing for a U.S. counterstrike and appeared to have mistaken the plane for a missile.
Trudeau said his administration has been with the victim’s families in “condemning Iran’s callous and horrific shoot-down of a civilian airliner.”
He called out Iran for repressing its own people in response to protests sparked by the death of a woman in the custody of the country’s morality police on Sept. 16.
“And as we’re seeing now, Iran’s continued repression of its own people, it’s violation of human rights and the murder of not just women like Mahsa Amini … but also students, young people, Iranian women who are courageously protesting against this brutal and bloodthirsty regime that is increasingly illegitimate in the eyes of (people) all around the world, not just of Canadians,” Trudeau said.
Canada imposed fresh sanctions Monday in response to “gross human rights violations that have been committed in Iran, including its systematic persecution of women and in particular, the egregious actions committed by Iran’s so-called ‘Morality Police,’ which led to the death of Masha Amini while under their custody.”
The sanctions target 25 individuals and nine entities, including senior Iranian officials and “prominent entities that directly implement repressive measures, violate human rights and spread the Iranian regime’s propaganda and misinformation,” the government said in a statement.