OTTAWA—The federal government is providing financial help to the families of the Canadian victims killed in the downing of a Ukrainian airline flight in Tehran last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday, making clear that he expects Iran to compensate relatives.
Trudeau said that Ottawa will be giving families $25,000 for each of the 57 Canadian citizens and 29 permanent residents on board Ukraine International Airlines’ Boeing 737-800 that was shot down by an Iranian missile strike. In all, 176 passengers and crew were killed.
Iran initially denied responsibility but then acknowledged it was to blame, saying the civilian airline was mistaken for a hostile target at a time when its defences were on high alert. Just hours before the attack, Iran had launched missiles at Iraqi military bases housing U.S. and coalition forces.
Trudeau said the funds — which he said would be dispersed as quickly as possible — are intended to help families with immediate financial needs, such as funeral and travel costs. And he said it was driven by the conversations that he and others in government have had with grieving loved ones across Canada about “pressing” financial worries.
But ultimately, he said the onus is on Iran to fully compensate the families of the passengers.
As he spoke, Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne was wrapping up a meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in Muscat, Oman.
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