In this picture released by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, right, meets family of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in the U.S. airstrike in Iraq, at his home in Tehran, Iran, Friday, Jan. 3, 2020. Iran has vowed “harsh retaliation” for the U.S. airstrike near Baghdad’s airport that killed Tehran’s top general and the architect of its interventions across the Middle East. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

Airliner crash a mistake that pleased Iran’s enemies: Supreme Leader Khamenei

Iran’s supreme leader says downing of Flight 752 was a bitter accident in rare sermon

Iran’s supreme leader says that the downing of a civilian airliner leaving Tehran was a bitter accident that saddened Iran and made its enemies happy.

In a rare sermon at Friday prayers in Tehran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says Iran’s international rivals have seized on the crash to question the country and its armed forces.

The crash of a Ukraine International Airlines jet after it was hit by at least one surface-to-air missile last week killed 176 people, including 138 bound for Canada.

Khamenei also attacks the United States for its killing of a top Iranian general, which was a factor in putting Iranian air defences on a hair-trigger, and calls President Donald Trump a clown.

ALSO READ: RCMP creating DNA profiles to help identify Canadians killed in Iran plane crash

In London yesterday, Canada called a meeting of most of the countries affected and laid out demands for Iran’s co-operation with the investigation, punishing those responsible, and compensating victims’ families.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has scheduled a news conference in Ottawa this morning to report on Canada’s efforts since the strike.

—with files from The Associated Press

The Canadian Press

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