Ottawa:

Canada said Thursday it had found no evidence that Iran’s downing of a Ukrainian airliner last year was premeditated and condemned what it called the incompetence and recklessness of those responsible.

Iran admitted it shot down the plane shortly after taking off from Tehran in January 2020, killing 176 people, and blamed a “disastrous mistake” by forces on high alert during a clash with the United States.

A special Canadian forensic team tasked with examining all available information on the incident, including classified intelligence, said it had “found no evidence that Iranian officials ordered the shooting down or that it was premeditated.”

In a report, the team added: “This in no way exempts Iran from its responsibility for the deaths of 176 innocent people.” Among the dead were 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents.

Ottawa has repeatedly complained that Iran’s official explanation did not answer many important questions about the downing of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752.

“Iranian civil and military authorities bear full and complete responsibility. Flight PS752 was shot down due to its recklessness, incompetence and mindless disregard for human life,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote in the report.

“Top regime officials made the decisions that led to this tragedy, and the world must not allow them to hide with impunity behind a handful of low-ranking scapegoats.”

In March, Iran’s civil aviation body blamed misaligned radar and a mistake by an air defense operator for the accident. Iran has charged 10 officials.

“In the context of military operations, a misalignment of this nature should have been detected,” the report concludes, adding that Iran has not provided a “credible explanation” for why the aircraft was attacked.

Canada and other countries seek reparations for the families of the victims. Canada does not have formal diplomatic relations with Iran, which makes the process long and complex.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)