TORONTO — The CEO of Maple Leaf Foods spoke out Sunday against the U.S. government, days after an Iranian missile accidentally shot down a jetliner, killing all 176 people on board — including the family of a company employee.
Michael McCain said in a series of tweets that the time since Wednesday’s crash has not quelled his anger over what he describes as a “needless, irresponsible series of events in Iran.”
“U.S. government leaders unconstrained by checks/balances, concocted an ill-conceived plan to divert focus from political woes. The world knows Iran is a dangerous state, but the world found a path to contain it; not perfect but by most accounts it was the right direction,” he wrote, saying he feels that “a narcissist in Washington” destabilized the region.
The tweets were sent from the official Maple Leaf Foods account, though McCain characterized them as “personal reflections.”
The plane was mistakenly shot down minutes after taking off from an airport on the outskirts of Tehran, just hours after Iranian missiles targeted bases where Americans were stationed in Iraq.
They were retaliating for the U.S. killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
Iran has admitted the plane was mistaken for a hostile target amid those soaring tensions with the United States, after first pinning the crash on a mechanical failure.
Watch: Canada demands answers from Iran
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said Iran must take full responsibility for shooting down the plane, which was carrying 138 passengers bound for Canada, including 57 Canadian citizens. He said that must include a full and credible investigation. But he’s steered clear of pinning the crash on the Americans.
“I think it is too soon to be drawing conclusions or assigning blame or responsibility in whatever proportions,” he told reporters last week.
McCain, meanwhile, said he’s still grappling with the death of his colleague’s wife and 11-year-old son.
“We are mourning and I am livid,” he wrote.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 12, 2020.