On 8 January 2020, the Boeing 737-800 operating the route was shot down shortly after takeoff from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport by the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). All 176 passengers and crew were killed.
The shootdown occurred during the 2019–2021 Persian Gulf crisis, five days after the United States Government authorized a drone strike that killed IRGC Major General Qasem Soleimani in retaliation for the attack on the United States embassy in Baghdad by Kata'ib Hezbollah, and hours after Iran launched missiles on U.S. bases in Iraq.
The Iranian government initially denied responsibility for the airplane's destruction, but investigation by Western intelligence agencies and the general public revealed that the aircraft was shot down by at least two surface-to-air missiles. On 11 January, the Iranian government admitted that the military had indeed shot down the airliner, having mistaken it for a cruise missile. The revelation prompted protests calling for the removal of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in response to the shootdown and government denial.
On May20, 2021 Justice Belobaba of Ontario superior Court find on a balance of probabilities that the missile attacks on Flight 752 were intentional and directly caused the deaths of all onboard. He continues; I further find on a balance of probabilities that, at the time in question, there was no armed conflict in the region.
The plaintiffs have established that the shooting down of Flight 752 by the defendants was an act of terrorism and constitutes “terrorist activity” under the SIA, the JVTA and the provisions of the Criminal Code, as discussed above.