US-Iran Feud Becomes a Point of Conflict for US-Canada

Last updated on January 18th, 2020

Tensions have now risen in Canada, regarding the recent Ukrainian plane crash that occurred in Iran. The Boeing 737 was shot down just as it took off from Tehran’s international airport.. Iran later on claimed that it shot the plane inadvertently, amidst the recent strikes by US Forces. Following their incessant and relentless cries of innocence, the blame gradually shifted over to the US President Donald Trump.

Reports show that, among the 176 people who died in the fatal air tragedy, 57 of them were Canadians. Michael McCain, CEO of Maple Leaf Foods, which has more than 11000 people employed, decided to speak out on this issue. He said that among the victims were his colleague’s wife and friends.

Nevertheless, instead of taking the bull by its horns, he decided to attack the US President indirectly, he refrained from mentioning his name, and instead referred to Trump as “a narcissist in Washington”, claiming that he ultimately caused the air tragedy.

Through the company’s Twitter account, McCain said, “A narcissistic in Washington tears world accomplishments apart and destabilizes regions. US is now unwelcome everywhere in the area including Iran. The collateral damage of this irresponsible, dangerous behavior? 63 Canadians lost their lives, including the family of one of my MLF colleagues. We are mourning, and I am livid.”

The company’s spokeswoman confirmed the tweets were from McCain, saying that the tragedy “warranted his response.”

The plane saga happened on Saturday, hours after Iran launched missile strikes on two airbases housing US Forces in Iraq, in retaliation to a US drone strike that killed Iran General Qasem Soleimani.

Canadian Prime Minister, Mr. Justin Trudeau, gave his views while at a vigil in Edmonton, Alberta on Saturday. Speaking to an audience of more than 2000 people, he said, “We will not rest until there are answers. We will not rest until there is justice and accountability.”

Also speaking to broadcaster Global News, Mr. Trudeau blamed the plane crash on the recent indifferences between US and Iran. (FT) He said, “If there were no tensions, if there was no escalation recently in the region, those Canadians who died would be right now with their families. This is something that only happens when you have conflict and war. The innocent people bear the brunt, and we should therefore work on reducing tensions and find a pathway that doesn’t involve further conflict and killing.”

The Canadian Premier told Global News that he has spoken to the US President about the crash. “I’ve spoken to Trump, and we’ve talked about the need to de-escalate tensions. I’ve talked about the tremendous grief and loss that Canadians are feeling. We need clear answers on how this happened, and how we’re going to make sure it never happens.

The Prime Minister also said that his main goal was to help the victims’ families repatriate their bodies and to hold Iran account for the fatal crash. “I am equally hurt and angry like all Canadians. Getting answers for the families is my focus now.”

On the other hand, a task force called ‘The International Coordination and Response Group’ was formed three days ago so as to look into the crash. The task-force comprises representatives from Canada, Ukraine, UK, Afghanistan and Sweden. There is also another Iranian-led task force, which is also investigating the matter. Henceforth, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister François Phillipe Champagne will head to London, UK on Thursday to host a meeting between the two parties.

In the meantime, Iran’s Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau has been set up so as to investigate the crash, but they will be assisted by officials from the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada.

TSB Chair Kathy Fox said that it was unknown how much leeway the team would be given in regard to the investigation process. She added that the TSB would be limited on what it could publicly say about the investigation as International Protocols give jurisdiction to the county where the crash occurred.

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