Boeing shot down by Iran: Tehran denounces a Canadian judgment without foundation
Steph Deschamps / May 21, 2021
Tehran on Friday strongly rejected the Canadian court's ruling that Iran committed a terrorist act by intentionally shooting down a Ukrainian Boeing in January 2020, saying the court had no jurisdiction to make such a ruling.
On Thursday, the Ontario Superior Court ruled that the firing of two missiles against Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 from Tehran was, in all likelihood, intentional and considered an act of terrorism under Canadian law. Iranian Foreign Affairs spokesman Said Khatibzadeh said in a statement Friday that the verdict had no basis and was not based on any objective evidence. The Canadian court has no authority to rule on this air incident which took place outside its territory and jurisdiction, he added.
Three days after the disaster on January 8, 2020, the Iranian armed forces had acknowledged having shot down the aircraft by mistake, in a context of increased tensions after the elimination five days earlier in Baghdad of a powerful Iranian general in a U.S. drone strike.
Iranian air defences were on high alert at the time, expecting U.S. retaliation for Iranian missile strikes on a base housing U.S. troops in Iraq. Among the 176 victims were 55 Canadian citizens and 30 passengers with permanent resident status. Mr. Khatibzadeh accused the Canadian government of exploiting the grief of the victims' families and the judge in charge of the case of following political orders. According to the lawyers of four relatives of the victims who brought the case to the Canadian courts, this decision opens the way for their clients to claim compensation from Iran for terrorist acts. The plaintiffs are seeking 1 billion euros in damages.