February 10, 2021
Canadian intelligence services are reviewing a recording of Iran’s top diplomat discussing the possibility that the downing of Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 in January 2020 was intentional, CBC News reported.
CBC sources identified Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying in the recording that there were a number of possibilities for the destruction of the flight, including a deliberate attack involving “infiltrators.”
He categorized that possibility as “not at all unlikely,” and suggested that the truth will never be revealed by the top levels of government, the broadcaster reported.
“There are reasons they’ll never reveal,” he said in Farsi. “They won’t tell us, nor anyone else, because if they do it will open some doors into the defense systems of the country that won’t be in the interest of the nation to publicly say.”
Ralph Goodale, the Canadian prime minister’s special adviser on the incident, confirmed that the government is aware of the recording, which forensic teams received in November.
He said publicly commenting on it could risk lives due to the sensitive nature of the audio, the report said.
In January, Goodale rejected Iran’s announcement of compensation for Canadian victims due to the unilateral nature of the offer.
Flight 752 was downed by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, killing all 176 people on board. After days of denials, Tehran admitted responsibility for shooting down the aircraft.
The incident came hours after Tehran launched a missile attack on US military bases in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in an American airstrike in Baghdad.
The plane, en route to Ukraine’s capital Kiev, went down on the outskirts of Tehran shortly after taking off from Imam Khomeini International Airport.
It was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew members, including 82 Iranians, at least 57 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians, according to officials.