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Salam Toronto Weekly English January 09, 20 84 Read More on Page 80 Canada pushing Tehran for direct access on Iran plane crash, Trudeau says By Mike Blanchfield Ottawa - Canada is pushing to be part of the Iranian-led investigation of the plane crash near Tehran that killed everyone on board, including 138 people bound for Canada, says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Gaining access could prove challenging because Canada broke diplomatic relations with Iran in 2012, shuttering its Tehran embassy and expelling its diplomats. Trudeau said Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne was to speak with his Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif, to stress the need for a thorough investigation into the crash - one that included Canada. The Transportation Safety Board has also assigned an expert to monitor the progress of the Iranian investigation, but it is unclear whether that investigator will benefit from first-hand Iranian information or be forced to rely on other countries. In addition to Champagne’s direct appeal to Tehran, Canada is also relying on allies such as Italy, Britain, France and Ukraine to ensure a thorough investigation of the crash, the prime minister said. “I am confident that we are going to be able to be part of the investigation. That is certainly something that we take very seriously,” Trudeau told a Parliament Hill news conference. “We are going to make sure that we are a substantive contributor to this investigation.” The Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800, bound for Kyiv, crashed shortly after taking off from the Iranian capital early Wednesday local time, killing all 176 people on board, including at least 63 Canadians. Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said the plane was also carrying 82 Iranians, 11 Ukrainian passengers and crew, 10 Swedes, 4 Afghans, 3 Germans and 3 Britons. The vast majority were bound for Toronto on a connecting flight, and as Trudeau poignantly highlighted that plane landed Wednesday minus 138 of its intended passengers “because they died in the crash on the earlier leg of their travel. There a number of steps being taken to support the families at Pearson Airport.” Trudeau said he spoke with U.S. President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister The Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800, bound for Kyiv, crashed shortly after taking off from the Iranian capital early Wednesday local time, killing all 176 people on board, including at least 63 Canadians. Boris Johnson and other allies who all offered their sympathies and support. Ukraine’s ambassador to Canada said his country would help Canada participate in the Iranian-led investigation of the crash.

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