A local Canadian-Iranian wants to see Canada lead the investigation into the plane crash that claimed the lives of all 176 people aboard the aircraft when it was struck by an Iranian missile on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday he had information that indicated the plane had been shot down, possibly by accident.
Sixty-three passengers on the Ukraine Airlines flight PS752 had a Canadian passport, and more than 100 had been flying to Canada.
At least 13 of the victims were Edmonton residents.
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“We are the largest and the largest group to be vested in this, and so it’s very important that we make sure that Canada is a player at that table, that Canada is involve directly in that investigation,” Payman Parseyan told CTV News Edmonton.
“You can’t have the accused investigating themselves and then inviting the rest to be observers.”
According to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, it has been invited by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau of the Islamic Republic of Iran to visit the crash site.
The TSB said it has accepted the invite and are getting ready to travel there.
Parseyan rebutted: “The cause of the plane going down was the Iranian government, so they should be invited to observe while the Canadian government should be firsthand on the frontlines investigating what happened. Not the other way around.”
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Not all of the victims had been identified as of Thursday evening.
Parseyan said the Ukraine Airlines flight over Iran is commonly taken by international students who don’t have Canadian citizenship and others who are unable to travel through the U.S.
“It’s a route that many students are forced to take and many others choose to take, whether it could be scheduling, could be pricing, could be variety of factors.”
When he first heard news of the crash, Parseyan said he couldn’t fall asleep.
“Obviously there’s anger but I can’t — standing up and screaming and punching something isn’t going to solve my problems or bring any one back,” he said.
“I think addressing it appropriately, I think speaking to our elected officials, and speaking to our Prime Minister to make sure this is done right — not for me, not for our community but for those people and their families who lost loved ones.”
The local Iranian community is welcoming other members of the public to a memorial service for the known victims on Sunday, Jan. 12 at the Saville Community Sports Centre. The event will be held in the main gym from 3 to 5 p.m.
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Sarah Plowman and CTVNews.ca