Iranian group of plane crash victims want federal parties to stand up for truth and justice

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Eight of the 176 people killed in the attack had close ties to the National Capital Region, i

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The families of Canadians killed on board flight PS752 want the country’s political leaders to stand up for truth and justice for passengers shot down over Tehran by Iranian armed forces.

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Eight of the 176 people killed in the attack had close ties to the national capital region, including Mansour Pourjam of Ottawa and Roja Azadian of Gatineau.

“We are disappointed that PS752 was not mentioned at all in the elections,” said Hamed Esmaeilion, spokesperson for the Association of Families of Victims of Flight PS752. Esmaeilion, a dentist from Richmond Hill, Ont., Lost his wife and daughter on flight PS752.

“I feel abandoned,” he says. “For the Iranian-Canadian community, this is very important: there are hundreds of family members who still live in the dark.

A family photo shows Mansour Pourjam, who died on January 8 in the crash of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight over Tehran.
A family photo shows Mansour Pourjam, who died on January 8 in the crash of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight over Tehran. Photo by Jean Levac /Post-media news

The victim group wants the RCMP to launch a national criminal investigation to identify the “real perpetrators” of the incident and use the International Court of Justice and the International Civil Aviation Organization to demand Iran’s cooperation in investigation.

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They also want the federal government to impose Magnitsky Law sanctions on Iranian officials involved in the plane crash.

Esmaeilion said the group of victims wrote to every political party leader during the election campaign, but received no meaningful response.

The group was formed last March to fight for a full and honest account of what happened on January 8, 2020.

That morning, commercial flights, including Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 to Kiev, were cleared for take off from Tehran International Airport, even though the Iranian military was on high alert in anticipation. of a retaliatory missile attack from the United States.

Iran was ready for all-out war after its own missile strike on US military bases in Iraq. The strike came in response to the U.S. drone assassination of Major General Qasem Soleimani, Iran’s second most powerful man, whom the United States considered a terrorist.

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Flight PS752 was hit by two Iranian missiles a few minutes after taking off from Tehran airport at 6:12 a.m. Four minutes after being hit, the plane crashed into a park in a city suburb. Everyone on board died, including 55 Canadians and 30 other permanent residents of this country.

An Iranian accident investigation committee concluded that the two missiles were launched against the plane due to “an unforeseen error in identifying the threats.” An air defense unit mistakenly identified the exiting plane as an incoming, low-flying cruise missile, according to the report.

The Accident Board report largely echoed the Iranian government’s claim that the tragedy was the fault of a single defense system operator who believed he had only seconds to respond to a missile attack from cruise.

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The Iranian Plane Crash Commission identified other errors. He said the defense unit also failed to recalibrate its targeting system after moving to a new location – a mistake that led the operator to mistakenly conclude that the PS752 was flying towards Tehran.

The operator attempted to contact a commander about the perceived threat, but the “message was never relayed”, according to the report, and he fired without authorization.

The Iranian report did not explain why the message was not relayed or why a second missile was fired 13 seconds after the first. The plane was still intact, and its pilots were actively trying to fly the plane when the second missile hit.

The families of the victims dismissed the Iranian government’s findings as weak and inconsistent.

Mohsen Ahmadipour, of Gatineau, said he gave no weight to the report’s findings. “We know they don’t want to tell the truth,” he said earlier this year. “They want to hide the responsible commander and downgrade the responsibility to the operator.”

Ahmadipour lost his wife, Roja Azadian, 42, in the destruction of PS752.

Roja Azadian, with her husband Mohsen Ahmadipour.
Roja Azadian, with her husband Mohsen Ahmadipour. Photo by Facebook /Postmedia

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