Trudeau: Plane victims would be alive if not for tensions

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland speaks during a memorial ceremony in Toronto for the Canadian victims of the Ukraine International Airlines crash

Tehran has acknowledged shooting down the Ukrainian jetliner by mistake on Wednesday, killing 176 people, hours after it had fired at U.S. bases to retaliate for the killing of Iran's most powerful military commander in a drone strike ordered by Trump. Iran later unintentionally shot down the Ukrainian plane because of "human error", Iranian officials said. He did not name anyone or say how many had been held.

On Saturday, the Iranian military acknowledged full responsibility for erroneously downing the jetliner over Tehran, saying that its air defence system confused the Ukrainian passenger plane with a hostile cruise missile and due to disrupted communication, the operator made the unilateral decision to shoot it down. "This is not an ordinary case". Thousands have already been killed or imprisoned by you, and the World is watching.

"We should assure people that it will not happen again", he said, adding that the government was "accountable to Iranians and other nations who lost lives in the plane crash".

"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", Trudeau said in an interview with Global television, according to a transcript shared with other media.

The president called the government's admission that Iranian forces shot down the plane the "first good step".

On January 3, a U.S. drone strike in Iraq killed high-ranking Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani, who Washington accused of plotting terrorist attacks.

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Iran said today it has arrested several people over the erroneous missile strike which brought down a passenger jet last week. It went down on the outskirts of Tehran just hours after Iran launched a barrage of missiles at US forces.

Widespread anger over the Iranian government for shooting down a passenger plane and then misleading the public about it simmered for a third day on Monday, with the police and protesters facing off in at least two cities and increasing demands from lawmakers for accountability. No one was hurt in that attack, which was carried out to avenge the stunning killing of Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani in an American airstrike in Baghdad. The conflict is with the government, which is directly responsible for the deaths of scores of USA forces in Iraq, as well as other regionally malign activity.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the tensions in Iran that caused a jetliner to be shot down were "brought about by United States actions".

Iranian authorities briefly arrested British Ambassador Rob Macaire on Saturday evening.

Iran's Foreign Ministry summoned the British ambassador on Sunday to protest what it said was his presence at an illegal protest.

Iran's Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi also promised Monday that "all material and moral rights of the victims and their families will be fully protected", the state news agency reported.

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