Politics

Canada joins other nations pressing Iran for compensation to Ukrainian jetliner victims

Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne says he and his counterparts from countries that lost citizens in last month's Ukrainian jetliner downing in Tehran pressed Iran for compensation today at a meeting in Germany.

Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne met with Iranian counterpart at Munich Security Conference

Minister of Foreign Affairs François-Philippe Champagne speaks to reporters at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany on Friday, Feb. 14. Champagne said he and his counterparts from other countries who lost citizens on Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 pressed the Iranian foreign minister to compensate families of the victims. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne says he and his counterparts from countries that lost citizens in last month's Ukrainian jetliner downing in Tehran pressed Iran for compensation today at a meeting in Germany.

The ministers met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the Munich Security Conference, and Champagne told a news conference afterward that they made it clear to Zarif what Iran must do.

"We pressed Iran on the need for swift compensation to be provided to families of the victims in accordance with international standards," he said.

"We will judge Iran by its actions, not by its words, and we will continue to work tirelessly on behalf of the victims of this tragedy until justice is rendered for all."

Champagne added that "the compensation should be equal for everyone," and that the process "should start as soon as possible."

Ministers want update on black boxes

Canada and its allies are also pushing Iran to release the black boxes from the disaster so the data can be properly analyzed by facilities in France.

Champagne had said earlier that the decision to invite Zarif to the gathering was made after consulting the foreign ministers from Britain, Sweden, Afghanistan and Ukraine, all of whom are attending the Munich conference.

Those countries all lost citizens five weeks ago when Iran's military fired two missiles at a Ukrainian jetliner, killing all 176 people on board, including 57 Canadians.

Champagne said the ministers wanted to hear an update from Iran on requests to allow access to the black boxes, as well as the latest developments on the investigation.

He said he believed progress was made at a meeting with Zarif on Friday in persuading Iran to relinquish the black boxes. The talks highlighted that Iran has yet to analyze the contents of the flight data and cockpit voice recorders, saying it was proof they can't do it alone.

"I think we had a productive discussion," Champagne said Friday.

Trudeau joined meeting

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined the meeting between Champagne and Zarif because he said it would help put more pressure on Iran to admit it doesn't have the equipment to analyze the boxes.

"I made a promise to families in Canada to do everything I could to make sure that they get answers, that we have a full and complete investigation, that we understand exactly what happened," Trudeau told reporters on Friday.

Trudeau came under criticism after the Iranian foreign ministry released a photograph showing a smiling Trudeau shaking Zarif's hand and gripping his elbow. 

Canada convened the first meeting of the International Co-ordination and Response Group for the victims of flight PS752 last month in London, pushing for a transparent investigation and for eventual compensation.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now