Prime Minister Trudeau updates Canadians about the latest developments in Iran
Late last night, Iran confirmed that it unintentionally shot down Flight 752.
This is an extremely serious matter.
Canada and the world still have many questions, questions that must be answered.
Earlier this morning, I spoke with President Rouhani of Iran.
I told him that Iran’s admission that its own armed forces unintentionally shot down Flight 752 is an important step towards providing answers for families.
But, I noted that many more steps must be taken. A full and complete investigation must be conducted.
We need full clarity on how such a horrific tragedy could have occurred.
Families are seeking justice and accountability. And they deserve closure.
I reiterated to President Rouhani that it is absolutely necessary that Canada participate in this investigation.
We expect the full cooperation of Iranian authorities.
Currently, three visas have been approved for members of the Standing Rapid Deployment Team.
We expect that the lead members of this team will arrive in Tehran around 4 pm today and establish a presence on the ground to support Canadian families.
Additional team members will follow. We are working with our partners who are facilitating the process by which visas are granted.
Currently, the Iranians are cooperating in granting visas.
During my call with President Rouhani, I also condemned the Iranian strikes on Iraq which endangered the lives of our members fighting Daesh and those of the coalition.
I also reiterated Canada’s call for de-escalation to ease tensions and our commitment to ensuring peace and safety in the area.
It is at times of tension like these that tragedies like this crash can happen, causing great loss of innocent life.
President Rouhani’s response to me was a commitment to collaborate to give closure to the victims, de-escalate tensions in the region, and continue this dialogue.
Our focus remains accountability, transparency, and justice for the families and loved ones of the victims.
As Minister Champagne said yesterday, our government is taking additional steps to provide more support to those grieving.
I’ve asked the Clerk of the Privy Council to set up an emergency task force, which convened earlier today.
Additionally, consular and immigration officials have been dispatched across the country so that they can be in direct contact with the families of Canadians affected by this tragedy.
Minister Mendicino has set up an emergency line to ensure that officials from Immigration Canada are available to help with any visa issues.
Minister Champagne and I remain in contact with all levels of government so that the families receive the support they need.
I have spoken to all of the leaders of the opposition and to several premiers of the provinces affected.
When Canadians experience great hardship, they stand in solidarity with each other.
In the face of tragedy, we have been there for our neighbours, our communities, and our fellow citizens.
I know that this outpouring of compassion brings comfort to those who have lost someone dear to them in this tragedy.
But know that our government will not stop demanding answers to the questions that linger.
We will be there – I will be there – to make sure that light is shed on these distressing events.
I remain in close contact with our partners, as are my ministers.
Last night, I spoke to Prime Minister Abe of Japan who is on his way to the Middle East and I will soon be speaking again with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy and Swedish Prime Minister Löfven.
Minister Champagne has been in touch with his counterparts from Iran, Switzerland, Turkey, Sweden, and Ukraine in part to discuss progress on issuing visas for our teams.
He will also reconvene a second call of the International Coordination and Response Group for the families of victims of PS752 to coordinate our response for the families together with representatives from Ukraine, Sweden, Afghanistan, and the United Kingdom who are also grieving.
Minister Garneau was also in contact with the French authorities earlier today.
I assure you that these discussions are ongoing.
I want to end by sharing with you a bit of what I did yesterday.
I had a chance to sit with some of the families of the victims.
They are hurt, angry, and grieving.
They want answers. They want justice.
What Iran has admitted to is very serious.
Shooting down a civilian aircraft is horrific.
Iran must take full responsibility.
Canada will not rest until we get the accountability, justice, and closure that the families deserve.