Iran on Friday decided to download the black box recordings from the Ukrainian airliner that crashed, killing all 176 people on board, after Canada and other western countries said the plane was unintentionally brought down by an Iranian missile.
Western leaders Thursday announced the Ukraine plan appeared to have been unintentionally hit by a missile near Tehran hours after Iran launched ballistic missiles at two US bases in Iraq to avenge the killing of its top general in an American airstrike.
Here are the latest developments so far:
• Iran’s civil aviation chief denied that a missile downed the Ukrainian airliner: The declaration came as Tehran faced mounting international pressure to allow a “credible” investigation into the crash, which Britain and Canada suggested was caused by an accidental missile strike. “One thing is for certain, this airplane was not hit by a missile,” Iran’s civil aviation chief Ali Abedzadeh said.
• France joins the probe: The French air accident investigation authority says it has been invited by Iran to join the probe into this week’s plane crash near Tehran. The French authority known by its French acronym BEA in a Twitter post writes it has designated an accredited representative to the investigation. The plane’s engine was designed by CFM International, a joint company between French group Safran and US group GE Aviation.
• Entire probe may take more than one year: Leading the Iranian investigation Hassan Rezaeifar says that recovering the data could take more than one month and the entire investigation into the crash could take more than one year.
• Ukraine says missile theory not ruled out: The Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky says he is not ruling out the possibility that the plane which crashed earlier this week in Iran had been hit a by a missile. “The missile theory is not ruled out, but it has not been confirmed yet,” Zelenskiy said in a Facebook post.
• Ukraine to discuss probe with US: President Zelensky also announced plans to discuss the investigation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday afternoon.
• Iran gives Ukraine access to probe: Iranian authorities have given Ukrainian investigators access to the fragments of the plane that crashed earlier this week and they were examined late Thursday, according to a statement by the Ukrainian president’s office.
• Boeing to join plane crash probe: Iran has invited Boeing to take part in the investigation into a Ukrainian jetliner that crashed earlier this week at a time of soaring tensions between Washington and Tehran, state media reported Friday.
• Canada reacts to Iran plane crash: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose country lost at least 63 citizens in the downing, says, “The evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile.”
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