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As Iran accepts blame for Ukrainian plane crash, Canada demands justice, answers – USA TODAY, USA Today


, USA TODAY            Published 2: 20 pm ET Jan. 13, 153359Updated 3: 13 PM ET Jan. 13,

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Hours after Iranian officialsaccepted blame for shooting downa Ukrainian passenger jet, Canada’s prime minister called for justice for the families of the people killed.

“Shooti” ng down a civilian aircraft is horrific. Iran must take full responsibility, “Prime Minister Justin Trudeausaid at a press conferenceSaturday. He called the crash, which killed 63 Canadians, a “senseless loss of life.”

“Even in a moment of heightened tensions, this should never have happened,” he said. “There are going to be many conversations and reflections on consequences. “

In a phone call with Trudeau on Saturday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had committed to collaborate on the investigation, de-escalate tensions in the region, and continue a dialogue, Trudeau said.

********** (Iran missile strike and plane crash:Here’s how the horror unfolded

Iran had granted three visas to members of Canada’s Rapid Deployment Team and assured the nation tha t more Canadians would soon be granted visas, Trudeau said.

“This not government will not stop calling for answers to the questions that remain unanswered,” Trudeau said, adding that Canada was focused on providing support to grieving families.

Trudeau said he also spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, who was en route to the Middle East. Abe was expected to make a five-day tripto various as part of Tokyo’s efforts to help reduce tensions in the region.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also spoke with Rouhani on Saturday, he said in a video address to the nation. In the call, Rouhani had formally apologized to Ukraine and guaranteed that the bodies of the victims would be taken home, Zelensky said.

The two nations had begun deciphering the plane’s two ” black boxes “and had discussed the issue of compensation, he said.

” We have agreed on full legal and technical cooperation, including in the issue of compensations, “Zelensky said,

Kyiv Post reported. “The (Ukrainian) government will provide financial assistance to the families of the victims. The state will also make every effort to help them obtain compensation from the airline, insurance companies and the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

After denying fault for days, Iranian leaders accepted blame for the crash Saturday, after US and Canadian officials said intelligence showed that the Iranian military gunned down the plane.

A military statement carried by Iranian state media Saturday morning local time said the plane was mistaken for a “hostile target “after it turned toward a” sensitive military center “of the Revolutionary Guard. The military was at its “highest level of readiness,” it said, amid the heightened tensions with the United States.

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An Iranian air defense operator had (seconds to decide whether to shoot down the********************** Ukrainian passenger jet, Brigadier-General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force, said at a press conference in Tehran.

The operator had misidentified the plane as a cruise missile and was unable to contact the central air defense command to confirm that it was a missile, so he decided to shoot it down.

“I wished I were dead,” Hajizadeh said Saturdayin an address broadcast by state TV.

Iran admits shooting down jetliner: (Says the strike was unintentional

More Iran: Trump administration hits Iran with new economic sanctions

All people aboard Ukraine International Airlines Flight 823 were killed in the crash early Wednesday, just after Iran fired ballistic missiles on Iraqi bases housing US soldiers in retaliation for the U.S. drone strike killing one of its top military leaders,Gen. Qasem Soleimani.

The dead also included Iranians and Ukrainians, as well as nationals from Sweden, the UK, Afghanistan and Germany.

Ukraine International Airlines said Saturday that it would pay all insurance payments and compensations to the families of the passengers,Kyiv Post reported.

Iran said those responsible for the strike on the plane would be prosecuted.

Meanwhile, thousands of anti-government protesters demonstrated in Tehran on Saturday. In videos posted to Twitter, protesters can be heard demanding that the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei step down.

“The voice of the Iranian people is clear. They are fed up with the regime’s lies, corruption, ineptitude, and brutality,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Twitter Saturday . “We stand with the Iranian people who deserve a better future.”

******************************************** (******************************************** The voice of the Iranian people is clear. They are fed up with the regime’s lies, corruption, ineptitude, and brutality of the IRGC under @ khamenei_ir’s kleptocracy. We stand with the Iranian people who deserve a better future. pic.twitter.com/tBOjv9XsIGSecretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) (January) **************************************************************************************************, **************************************************************************

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******************************************** Contributing: Ryan Miller, USA TODAY; The Associated Press

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news / world / 153359 / / / iran-responsibility- plane-crash-canada-demands-justice //

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