Speed Reads

The Iran crisis

Justin Trudeau says Iran plane crash victims would still be alive if not for heightened tensions

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday that the victims on a Ukraine International Airlines plane that was shot down over Tehran last week would still be alive if not for heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

Early last Wednesday, Iran fired ballistic missiles at Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops. This was in response to President Trump authorizing an airstrike in Baghdad that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Just a few hours after the Iranian retaliatory strikes, Iran's military accidently shot down the Ukrainian plane, killing all 176 passengers and crew. Of the victims, 57 were Canadians. After initial denials, the Iranian government acknowledged this weekend that it had made a "disastrous mistake."

"I think if there were no tensions, if there was no escalation recently in the region, those Canadians would be right now home with their families," Trudeau told Global News TV. The U.S. did not tell Canada in advance it was planning on targeting Soleimani, and Trudeau said "obviously" he would have liked advance notice.

"The U.S. makes its determinations," he added. "We attempt to work as an international community on big issues. But sometimes countries take actions without informing their allies."