Monday, 06 July, 2020

Iran plane downing: 'Several people detained' for shooting down airliner

Mohamad Fakih CEO of Paramount Fine Foods Mohamad Fakih CEO of Paramount Fine Foods
Adrian Cunningham | 14 January, 2020, 13:23

Hours earlier, the Iranian military had fired missiles targeting bases in Iraq housing USA troops, and the IRGC has said the plane was mistaken for a retaliatory missile.

Protesters, with students at the forefront, have held demonstrations against the establishment since Saturday, some met by a violent police crackdown. Footage showed blood on the ground, wounded being carried and people who seemed to be security personnel running with rifles. The overall level of unrest is hard to assess because of restrictions on independent reporting.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that everyone responsible for the accidental shooting down of a Ukrainian airliner must be punished.

Spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said investigations into the incident were continuing, but provided no details.

The five include Canada, which had at least 57 passport holders on the flight, many of them Iranian-Canadian students and academics heading home after holiday visits. Most of those killed in the disaster were Iranian and Canadian nationals.

The disaster and subsequent unrest comes amid one of the biggest escalations between Tehran and Washington since the revolution four decades ago that made them into foes.

Trudeau has been careful to avoid blaming US President Donald Trump for the deaths of the passengers after Trump ordered the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Iran's top general, in a US airstrike in Baghdad.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, leader of the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, told ABC's "This Week", "I don't think the administration has been straight with the Congress of the United States".

Iran's authorities killed hundreds of protesters in November in what appears to have been the bloodiest crackdown on anti-government unrest since 1979.

The group will also discuss seeking compensation for the families of the victims.

Two General Motors employees arrested for racing Corvettes
The company says in a statement that it is aware of the incident involving its "test vehicles", and is investigating. The two are now facing charges of speeding , reckless driving , and racing a motor vehicle on public roads.

In recent days, demonstrators have chanted "Clerics get lost!" and other slogans against Iran's system of theocratic rule.

Another Fars video showed demonstrators in Tehran tearing down a poster of Soleimani. Gunfire has also been heard, although police have denied shooting at protesters.

Rising tension: An Iranian man confronts riot police during a protest outside Tehran's Amir Kabir University.

Ali Rabiei, a government spokesman, insisted Iran's civilian officials learned only on Friday that the Revolutionary Guard had shot down the plane.

Mr Johnson said the next step for Iran was to "repatriate in a dignified way" the bodies of the passengers and crew of flight PS752, who included three Britons.

Canada's foreign minister and envoys and from other countries who had victims in the crash were scheduled to meet in London on Thursday to share information.

"We must strive to ensure that such a shocking incident is not repeated anywhere in the world", Rouhani said.

Esper, in another interview, told CNN's "State of the Union" that he believed Soleimani was "days away" from launching an attack on USA facilities when the drone attack killed him January 3.

The U.K. Ambassador to Iran was arrested and briefly detained after attending the vigil at Amirkabir University on Saturday in a move condemned by the British government.

He added that the global community has been "very, very clear about needing to have a non-nuclear Iran" but also in "managing the tensions in the region that are brought about by U.S. actions as well". "But sometimes countries take actions without informing their allies", he said.