1248 GMT March 08, 2021
“A government that has done its utmost to block transfer of medicine to Iran is in no position to take a podium and speak about human rights,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in Tehran on Monday, Press TV reported.
“Canada has provided maximum cooperation with the White House to prevent shipment of medicine to the Iranian people,” he added, addressing a weekly press briefing that was being held via a video conference.
“I warn the Canadian foreign minister and government to be accountable for their actions,” the spokesman said.
Khatibzadeh’s reprimand came less than a week after remarks by Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne concerning the Islamic Republic.
Speaking to CBC News Network, Champagne alleged that he did not believe that the mistaken downing of a Ukrainian airliner by Iran’s air defenses in January “can be blamed on human error”.
Ottawa lays strong claim to upholding human rights and regularly accuses Iran of violating universal principles.
Champagne also said he was concerned about the quality of information that was to be released by the Islamic Republic in the form of an investigative report on the tragedy.
An Iranian air defense unit mistakenly shot down Flight 752 of the Ukrainian International Airlines in January shortly after take-off from Tehran en route to Kiev.
The operator had mistaken the Boeing 737-800 with a cruise missile at a time when the air defense systems were at the highest level of alert following the United States’ earlier assassination of prominent Iranian commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.
Khatibzadeh said Canadian officials have been coming up with such “meddlesome and unacceptable” remarks since the immediate aftermath of the plane crash.
“They have engaged in most obstructive measures, despite not having any distinct legal position" on the matter, he said.
The spokesman called such remarks “politically-charged,” expressing regret that Canadian politicians were seeking to exploit the issue.
“I invite the Canadian foreign minister and government to observe diplomatic manners and know their limits and positions,” Khatibzadeh said, “Otherwise they will receive a different response”.
‘Technical report ready’
Khatibzadeh said Iran had not missed a single date in completing its investigation into the tragedy with the help of all of its relevant bodies in line with its domestic and international responsibilities.
He said the technical report that has resulted from the investigation was ready and due to be released “today or tomorrow,” adding that the Ukrainian side and the other concerned parties would be sent a copy online.
Iran’s entire official apparatus, including the Foreign Ministry, has been left distressed by the tragedy, the spokesperson said.
He pledged that the country was expending all of its efforts to ensure maximum transparency in matters related to the incident, and would even complain to the International Court of Justice if it were not satisfied with the investigative process and punishment of those who were responsible for the tragedy.