Government of Canada announces senior advisor to Global Affairs Canada on Flight PS752 tragedy

News release

May 21, 2021 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Today, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced that Payam Akhavan, Senior Fellow at Massey College and distinguished visiting professor at the University of Toronto, will join Global Affairs Canada (GAC) as a senior advisor on the department’s ongoing response to the Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 tragedy. This appointment concludes a months-long search to best support the expertise and capacity of the department on this critical file.

Professor Akhavan will provide advice and expertise on all matters pertaining to Flight PS752, with particular attention to the GAC legal team’s preparations for the upcoming state-to-state negotiations with Iran on reparations, as well as other possible measures.

The Government of Canada remains committed to pursuing transparency, accountability and justice for the victims of the tragedy, their grieving families and all Canadians.


“I am pleased to welcome Professor Akhavan to Global Affairs Canada. His wealth of knowledge and expertise will bolster the department’s ongoing efforts to hold Iran accountable for the downing of Flight PS752 and to pursue justice and transparency for the families.”

- Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

  • On January 8, 2020, Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 was shot down near Tehran by an Iranian surface-to-air missile, killing 176 people, including 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents.

  • Canada continues to work with international partners to ensure a thorough and credible investigation into this tragedy and to hold Iran accountable for its violations of international law.

  • An International Coordination and Response Group to support families of victims of PS752 was formed by Afghanistan, Canada, Sweden, Ukraine and the United Kingdom to ensure a full and transparent investigation into the causes of the fatal crash and coordinate legal efforts to hold Iran accountable so that families and loved ones get the answers they deserve.

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