Canada, Ukraine demand full investigation of plane incident

A senior Revolutionary Guards commander said on Saturday, in a broadcast on Iranian state television, that Iran misidentified the Ukrainian airliner as a cruise missile.

General view of the debris of the Ukraine International Airlines, flight PS752, Boeing 737-800 plane that crashed after take-off from Iran's Imam Khomeini airport, on the outskirts of Tehran, Iran January 8, 2020 (photo credit: SCREENSHOT/REUTERS)
General view of the debris of the Ukraine International Airlines, flight PS752, Boeing 737-800 plane that crashed after take-off from Iran's Imam Khomeini airport, on the outskirts of Tehran, Iran January 8, 2020
(photo credit: SCREENSHOT/REUTERS)
After Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) shot down a Ukrainian airliner, killing all 176 people on board, 57 of whom were Canadian, the leaders of both Canada and Ukraine are calling for a full, comprehensive investigation.
A senior Revolutionary Guards commander said on Saturday in a broadcast on Iranian state television, that Iran misidentified the Ukrainian airliner as a cruise missile.
“I wish I could die and not witness such an accident," IRGC aerospace division head Amirali Hajizadeh said in a video state TV posted online on Saturday.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, responding to Iran's statement that a missile shot down a Ukrainian airliner this week, said on Saturday that his government sought a full investigation and full cooperation from the Iranian authorities.
Canada had said for several days that it believed the plane was downed by an Iranian missile, but until Saturday Iran had denied this. In a statement issued by his office, Trudeau said that Iran has now acknowledged that the plane was brought down by its own armed forces.
"Our focus remains closure, accountability, transparency, and justice for the families and loved ones of the victims. This is a national tragedy, and all Canadians are mourning together," Trudeau said. We will continue working with our partners around the world to ensure a complete and thorough investigation, and the Canadian government expects full cooperation from Iranian authorities.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy also demanded a full investigation and admission of guilt. Additionally, he demanded compensation from Iran.
"Iran has pleaded guilty to crashing the Ukrainian plane. But we insist on a full admission of guilt,” Zelensky said. "We expect from Iran assurances of their readiness for a full and open investigation, bringing those responsible to justice, the return of the bodies of the dead, the payment of compensation, official apologies through diplomatic channels," he added.
Zelensky is set to hold a telephone call with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani on Saturday after Tehran said it had mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet, the Ukrainian president's office said.
On Saturday Ukrainian state security service (SBU) chief Ivan Bakanov said Iran’s admission confirmed one of the Ukraine’s working theories.
Ukraine International Airlines President Yevhenii Dykhne also said he never doubted that the airline had not caused the crash of its passenger plane in Iran.
"We didn't doubt for a second that our crew and our plane couldn't be the cause for this horrible plane crash," Dykhne said. "These were our best guys and girls. The best.”
Both President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani  and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted about the incident.
“Armed Forces’ internal investigation has concluded that regrettably missiles fired due to human error caused the horrific crash of the Ukrainian plane & death of 176 innocent people,” Rouhani tweeted. “Investigations continue to identify & prosecute this great tragedy & unforgivable mistake. #PS752”
“A sad day. Preliminary conclusions of internal investigation by Armed Forces:  Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster,” Zarif tweeted. “Our profound regrets, apologies and condolences to our people, to the families of all victims, and to other affected nations.”