The head of a Canadian food giant has blamed US President Donald Trump for creating the conditions that led to Iran accidentally shooting down an airliner. Many Canadians were killed in the tragedy.
The Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 was shot down by a missile shortly after taking off from Tehran before dawn last Wednesday, killing all 176 passengers and crew on board.
Maple Leaf Foods chief executive Michael McCain said in a Twitter message that a colleague lost his wife and child to a "needless, irresponsible series of events in Iran".
"US government leaders unconstrained by checks/balances, concocted an ill-conceived plan to divert focus from political woes," he said.
Without explicitly naming Trump, the head of Canada's largest meat packing company pointed the finger at "a narcissist in Washington" for destabilising the Middle East region.
"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," McCain said.
The message quickly went viral.
Long-standing US-Iran tensions have soared since January 3 when missiles fired from a US drone killed a top Iranian commander, Qasem Soleimani, near Baghdad's airport.
Iran responded with a barrage of missiles at two US bases in Iraq, inflicting no casualties in what was seen as an attempt to prevent a spiral of escalation.
But hours later, an Iranian Revolutionary Guard unit mistakenly shot down the Ukrainian passenger jet, due to what Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called "human error". (AFP)