It seems Justin Trudeau was right when he blamed Iran for the crash which killed around 180 people, of which approximately half were Canadian. He said intelligence showed that Iran was responsible, but that it may well have been unintentional.
Iran has until now blamed the crash on mechanical failure, but pressure has been mounting for the nation to take responsibility. The crash on Wednesday morning came just hours after Iran fired missiles at two US military bases in Iraq in an escalation of tensions between Iran and the US when Trump ordered the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, who led Iran’s elite Quds force.
Trump has yet to respond to the admission, but has been doubling down on his decision to have Soleimani killed after heavy criticism from leading Democrats concerned for the potential consequences. Trump has been retweeting comments praising his actions.
With Boeing off the hook for the crash, travellers may breathe a sigh of relief, especially after leaked emails this week saw employees of the jet manufacturer refer to the 737 Max (which has been grounded since the crash of the Ethiopian Airlines flight last March) as “designed by clowns who in turn are supervised by monkeys”.
What are people saying?
Zarif's implication that the US "adventurism" is ultimately to blame for the tragedy has drawn criticism, mainly from the right.
@JZarif US adventurism is an interesting way to say we defended our embassy and eliminated the terrorist who kept k… https://t.co/xWEh9rSOdU
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has demanded compensation and an official apology.
This morning brings the truth.
Ukraine insists on a full admission of guilt. We expect Iran to bring those responsi… https://t.co/q2Q8LPRF03
— Володимир Зеленський (@Володимир Зеленський)
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said Canada's focus is on "closure" and completing a "thorough investigation".
What happens next?
All eyes are on Trump as the US wakes up to the news. With a president this unpredictable we can just as reasonably expect a measured official statement as we can a pseudo-declaration of war in a string of unintelligible tweets.