Downed Ukraine jet “Iran’s human shield” | The northern daily guide

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The downing of a Ukrainian plane by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in 2020 was the responsibility of senior Iranian officials and not an accident caused by a missile system operator, as Tehran claims, families of the victims have claimed. A report by an association composed mainly of Canadian families of victims of Flight PS752 questions Iran’s official findings that a misaligned radar and a mistake by the air defense operator were responsible for the downing of the plane shortly after it took off from Tehran Airport were made. All 176 people on board were killed. The Iranian civil aviation authority responsible for investigating the crash said the operator mistook the jet for a missile at a time when tensions between Tehran and the US were high. A Canadian investigation in June convicted “those responsible” but found no evidence of the tragedy willful. “The association believes that senior Iranian officials are responsible for shooting down Flight PS752, not just a handful of low-ranking … members as claimed by the Iranian government,” the association report said. “With the highest military vigilance, the Iranian government used passenger flights as human shields against possible American attacks by deliberately not closing the airspace to civilian flights,” it said. Association president Hamed Esmaeilion said at a virtual press conference: “We think the downing of PS752 was a deliberate act”. The Iranian Foreign Ministry was initially not available to comment. The association said it based its report on public information and records of “senior Iranian officials” among its sources, and was prepared with the assistance of aviation and legal experts. The report said the missile system operator was experienced and could have distinguished the airliner from a cruise missile. A Canadian government spokeswoman said the country was analyzing the report, which calls for an international investigation. Many of the victims killed in the crash were Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly tweeted on Tuesday that the country “stands on the side of Ukraine” in its decision not to attend PS752 hearings in a military court in Iran, calling for “transparency in criminal proceedings”. A group of ministers from Canada, Sweden, Ukraine and the UK issued a statement Wednesday calling on Iran to make “full reparation” for the downing of the jet, noting that Tehran had received recent requests for meetings and negotiations have not accepted. Australian Associated Press

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