OTTAWA — Canada and its allies are accusing Iran of snubbing the families of those killed when its military shot down a passenger jet two years ago by refusing to negotiate a settlement.
The joint condemnation by Canada, Britain, Sweden and Ukraine comes after Iran ignored a Wednesday deadline by the coalition of countries to negotiate a settlement for the Jan. 8, 2020 disaster that saw Iran's Revolutionary Guard shoot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752.
Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly and her counterparts call the snub an "affront" to the loves ones of the 176 people on board who were killed on the plane, including 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents, along with nationals of Britain, Ukraine, Afghanistan and Sweden.
They say they have tried repeatedly to negotiate with Iran but now find those efforts to be futile, so they will pursue other avenues in international law.
The coalition of countries, which calls itself the International Co-ordination and Response Group, had last month given Iran a deadline of Wednesday to come to the bargaining table and negotiate compensation for the victims' loved ones.
Hamed Esmaeilion, whose wife and nine-year-old daughter died in the tragedy, says Iran's behavior comes as no surprise, and called on Canada and its allies to refer the matter to the International Civil Aviation Organization for more aggressive action toward Iran.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 6, 2022.
Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press