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Garneau claims Iran has not yet released black boxes from the shot down airliner in January

On March 11, Garneau said, Tehran promised to unlock the recorders ‘within two weeks’.

Canada and four other countries are now seeking to “pressure” Iran out of the Ukrainian passenger plane to unlock flight recorders its powers shot down on Jan. 8, Transport Minister Marc Garneau said today. Garneau was at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) meeting in Montreal on March 11 where the Iranian representative promised his government would surrender the so-called “black boxes” to Ukrainian authorities by March 25.

“The boxes are still in Iran and we continue to exert pressure,” Garneau said today during a government briefing on a video link.”They said it would be within two weeks. That coincided with the serious onset of COVID-19 in Iran. And they explained that they were not in a position to address that matter at that time.”

The delegate of Iran’s ICAO, Farhad Parvaresh, was not at the meeting in Montreal but made the pledge over the phone.
Iran has been devastated by the pandemic, but the government also has to surrender flight recorders to fulfill its commitments under international civil aviation rule, Garneau added.

“We continue now to exert pressure on Iran to transfer those boxes in accordance with their obligations,” he said.

Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 shortly after taking off from Tehran airport was struck by two Iranian rockets. All 176 people, including 55 Canadian nationals and 30 permanent residents, died aboard. There were also thousands of on-flight travelers bound for Canada, many of whom were graduates and scholars heading back from a winter break.
The Tehran-Kyiv route was a popular first leg for Iran-Canada voyages.
Britain, Ukraine, Afghanistan, and Sweden also lost citizens in the destruction of the plane; they formed an alliance with Canada to deal with Iran.

They are pressing Iran to collaborate with a fair inquiry to ascertain the cause of the missile attack and the accident, and to provide compensation to loved ones of the victims.
Former Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale was appointed in March as the special adviser on the file to the Canadian Government.

‘Unacceptable,’ says Goodale

In today’s interview with CBC Radio’s The Latest, Goodale said it’s “unacceptable” the black boxes have not yet been turned over by the Iranian Government.

“The prime minister and [Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe] Champagne made it abundantly clear that Canada is expecting a transparent process that leads to accountability and the answering of these questions,” Goodale said.

But Goodale reported that, after his nomination, he has not spoken to the Iranian officials regarding the deadly accident. He said there’s been little advancement on any form of criminal inquiry.
He said Canada is seeking to mobilize the international community to put leverage to bear on the Tehran regime to become more friendly.

“Canada alone, or one country alone, is not going to be able to get the answers that the world deserves,” he said.

Iran originally covered up the cause of the accident but was forced to accept that two rockets had been shot at the plane by its Revolutionary Guard.
The accident took place only after Iran fired missiles into Iraq at two American military bases in revenge for the U.S. killing days earlier Iran’s top officer, Qassem Soleimani. Canadian forces is lodged in one of the aim bases. Goodale said Canada needs an response to one key question: why did Iranian authorities cause a civilian airliner to be subjected in the middle of such a volatile war to military action?

“How did that happen and who was responsible for it happening?” Goodale said. “We’re following every line of questioning and none of the answers are available yet.”

Any of those killed on the Ukraine airliner ‘s families have claimed Ottawa has turned a deaf ear to their worries owing to its insistence on the pandemic outbreak.
In previous weeks Goodale has worked with victims’ relatives.

“It’s an absolutely heart wrenching experience. It just reinforces the determination [of] the government of Canada to do everything we possibly can to support these families, to get transparency and accountability and ultimately justice for them,” he said.

Goodale had been responsible for running the RCMP and addressing foreign law enforcement forums in his last cabinet position.
The Ukrainian and British envoys have said this makes Goodale well-qualified to press Iran for answers.

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