The catastrophe occurred in the aftermath of the US assassination of Iran’s top military commander Qasem Soleimani on January 3. In retaliation, Tehran launched missile strikes against two US military bases in Iraq. On the same night as the retaliatory missile strikes, Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752 took off from Iran’s international airport, en route for Kiev.
Although Iran initially denied any involvement in the tragedy, authorities eventually admitted to the “disastrous mistake’, believing the plane to be a US jet fighter.
On Monday, the Canadian Prime Minister, for the first time since events unfolded, appeared to pin some of the blame on Trump for the catastrophe.
Previously Mr Trudeau had avoided questions about whether the US President bore some responsibility for the deaths, preferring to focus on the grief and loss felt by families.
However, in an interview with Global News television, the Canadian Prime Minister said: “I think if there were no tensions, if there was no escalation recently in the region, those Canadians would be right now home with their families.”
He added: “This is something that happens when you have conflict and war.
“Innocents bear the brunt of it and it is a reminder why all of us need to work so hard on de-escalation, moving forward to reduce tensions and find a pathway that doesn’t involve further conflict and killing.”
Mr Trudeau confirmed that he had spoken with Trump about the doomed aircraft.
“I’ve talked about the tremendous grief and loss that Canadians are feeling and the need for clear answers on how this happened and how we’re going to make sure it never happens again,” he said.
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He added that his focus was on the Canadian victims, warning that it could be weeks, even months before the bodies are repatriated for burial.
Acknowledging their “immeasurable pain”, he insisted that he would do all he could to get answers for the victims’ families.
Mr Trudeau said: ““I am hurt like all Canadians. I am angry like all Canadians.
“But unlike many people I have a job to do that will be able to help these families directly.
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“Getting answers for them is my entire focus right now.”
In contrast to Mr Trudeau’s muted criticisms, other prominent Canadians have been much more vocal in their rebuke of the US President.
On Sunday, Michael McCain, chief executive of Maple Leaf Foods, Canada’s largest food processor, used the company’s official Twitter account to slam the US decision to kill Soleimani.
Mr McCain said his colleague’s wife and son were among the 57 Canadians who died.
Without explicitly naming Trump, he suggested “a narcissist in Washington” ultimately caused the air tragedy.
He accused US government leaders of concocting “an ill-conceived plan to divert focus from political woes”.
Mr McCain concluded his Twitter thread by writing: “The collateral damage of this irresponsible, dangerous, ill-conceived behavior?
“63 Canadians needlessly lost their lives in the crossfire, including the family of one of my MLF colleagues (his wife + 11 year old son)!
“We are mourning and I am livid. Michael McCain.”
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