Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Cancel Anytime
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Canada’s most-awarded
newsroom for a reason
Stay informed for a
lot less, cancel anytime
“Exemplary reporting on
COVID-19” – Herman L
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Ralph Goodale, the prime minister's special adviser on the downing of flight PS752 in Iran last year says as long as Iran refuses to tell the whole truth about the crash, the country's airspace remains unsafe.

Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

The prime minister’s special adviser on the downing of flight PS752 says as long as Iran refuses to tell the whole truth about the crash, the country’s airspace remains unsafe.

“Canada should, in my view, be raising this issue in every forum, (the International Civil Aviation Organization), in other agencies of the United Nations, through every channel and means to make sure that the world does not forget,” Ralph Goodale said Thursday at the House of Commons transport committee.

Goodale, a former Liberal cabinet minister, is now the Canadian high commissioner in the United Kingdom. But in 2020 he was appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as a special adviser to help guide Canada’s response to the crash.

Story continues below advertisement

He delivered a report last year critical of existing international rules for investigating plane crashes, which allow the country where the crash happens to lead the investigation, even in a situation like this where Iran was responsible for the crash.

Iran, Goodale told the committee, has been evasive and misleading from day one.

“The world needs to take this seriously,” he said. “There is no reason for anyone to believe that the skies over Tehran are any safer today than they were in January of 2020.”

The Ukrainian Airlines flight was shot down by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard on Jan. 8, 2020, killing all 176 passengers and crew including 85 Canadians and permanent residents. Two missiles were fired at the plane in the minutes after it took off.

Iran issued a report in March which blamed “human error” for the crash, which occurred as tensions were high, hours after Iran had fired missiles at U.S. air bases in Iraq.

Goodale said that report was late, “shambolic” and lacking a “shred of evidence.”

He said Iran should have closed the airspace, and warned commercial airlines of the tensions. They did neither, and he added Iran also concluded that they would make the same calls again if the situation were to arise another time.

Story continues below advertisement

“Iran has displayed an attitude of impunity divorced from any remorse or responsibility for their deadly conduct,” he said.

“Yes, the families should be outraged, and so should the entire international community. We have not been told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. And without that no one can or should feel at all safe or secure in the still dangerous skies over Iran.”

International plane crash investigations are governed by the rules of the International Civil Aviation Organization, known as ICAO. But Kathleen Fox, chair of the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board, told the committee that the rule leaving prime authority for the investigation to the country where the crash occurred, never took into account the idea that a government might have shot down the plane itself.

Goodale said this is the third attack on a civilian airliner since 2014, including the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 in 2014, which was shot down by pro-Russian rebels over Ukraine, and last month’s “state-sponsored hijacking” of a Ryanair flight in Belarus.

The plane was in Belarusian airspace, flying from Greece to Lithuania when the Belarusian government ordered it to land in Minsk because of a bomb threat, sending a military fighter jet to accompany it to landing. But there was no bomb, and when the plane landed the government arrested dissident journalist Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend, Sofia Sapega.

Several family members whose loved ones died when the Ukrainian jetliner crashed told the committee after Goodale appeared that Canada needs to be doing more to go after Iran for its deliberate act of terror.

Story continues below advertisement

Hamed Esmaeilion, the president of the Association of Families of Flight PS752 Victims, said ICAO did nothing as Iran destroyed evidence and the belongings of crash victims, or criticized, and the families still wait for signs governments are going to force Iran be held to account.

Esmaeilion’s wife, Parisa Eghbalian and their nine-year-old daughter, Reera, were killed in the crash.

“It seems as if an entire airplane has been lost in the clouds of international diplomacy,” he said.

He said Iran’s explanation is made up of “convenient lies, disguised as mistakes and incompetence to disguise willful murder.”

The families want Canada to launch its own criminal investigation, take Iran to the International Criminal Court, and list the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist entity.

“Without our government we have no recourse to bring the perpetrators of this inhumane crime to justice,” Esmaeilion said.

Story continues below advertisement

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies